Books | Shelf Life

Thomas Pynchon: What might he look like now?

pynchon_morph

pynchon_morphAbout three years ago, EW commissioned New York forensic artist Stephen Mancusi – a guy who’s done deliberately aged likenesses of everyone from JonBenet Ramsey to Marilyn Monroe – to use his professional techniques to render what reclusive author Thomas Pynchon might look like now. His drawing was based on Pynchon’s 1955 high school yearbook photo, one of the last known snapshots of the Gravity’s Rainbow scribe, and accompanied Ken Tucker’s grade-A review of the then 69-year-old writer’s novel Against the Day. Pynchon’s new novel, an L.A.-set mystery titled Inherent Vice, is due in stores this month (EW’s Sean Howe gives it an A). So we thought we’d resurrect Mr. Mancusi’s work. Yes, the artist’s Pynchon looks a little like John Ratzenberger from Cheers. Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t put an author photo on the dust jackets of his books.

Originally posted July 30 2009 — 2:30 PM EDT

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