Ayad Akhtar, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

From The Telegraph:

What a day to discover that you’ve won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Ayad Akhtar got the call from New York to tell him the surprise good news that he had been awarded one of the most prestigious accolades a playwright can get around the same time that reports started coming in about the bombings at the Boston marathon. Currently staying in London to be on hand for the UK premiere of the winning work, Disgraced, at the Bush next month, he felt, he reveals, “really odd receiving email after email congratulating me when the BBC was showing the sad events in Boston. In an eerie way, though,” he continues, “it’s very much the world the play comes from and points to.” First produced in Chicago last year, before a successful run at the Lincoln Center, Disgraced centres on a successful corporate lawyer — Amir Kapoor — who, together with his artist wife, hosts a dinner party at their swish Upper East Side apartment that escalates from amicable chit-chat into something far more perturbing and confrontational. The New York Times review praised it as “a continuously engaging, vitally engaged play about thorny questions of identity and religion in the contemporary world, with an accent on the incendiary topic of how radical Islam and the terrorism it inspires have affected the public discourse. In dialogue that bristles with wit and intelligence, Mr Akhtar, a novelist and screenwriter, puts contemporary attitudes toward religion under a microscope, revealing how tenuous self-image can be for people born into one way of being who have embraced another.”

…Articulate and easygoing, he’s still digesting the good news — “At first I thought it was a crank call” — and doesn’t yet know what it might mean for his career. “I suspect it means people will take my work more seriously. I’ve spent a long time peddling my wares and trying to get people to take note; hopefully this will make it that much easier,” he says. However much, or little, tangible benefit will accrue, he adds with amusement that he came across an article in Variety “saying the only thing guaranteed for sure if you win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is a New York Times obituary. I thought that was funny.”

More here.