- - Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writer Philip Roth, whose works include the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “American Pastoral,” has been awarded Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias literature award, organizers said Wednesday.

he 79-year-old edged out 23 other contenders to take the $60,000 prize, one of eight given in different fields by the Asturias Foundation each year.

The prize jury praised Mr. Roth for “his fluid, incisive writing.”

“Characters, events and plots form a complex view of contemporary reality torn between reason and feeling, such as the sign of the times and the sense of unease about the present,” it said in a statement.

“The narrative work of Philip Roth forms part of the great American novel, in the tradition of John dos Passos, Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Saul Bellow or Bernard Malamud.”

“American Pastoral” tracks the social upheavals of the 1960s and ‘70s as seen through the eyes of a once-legendary high school athlete, Seymour “Swede” Levov.

It is the first in a trilogy that also includes “I Married a Communist” and “The Human Stain.”

Born in New Jersey in 1933, Mr. Roth had his first book “Goodbye, Columbus,” a collection of stories about Jewish life in America, published in 1959, and it immediately won him literary prestige in the United States.

He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for “American Pastoral” in 1997.

The Spanish awards, named after Crown Prince Felipe, are presented in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the northern Asturias region, in October in a glittering ceremony broadcast live on Spanish television.

In addition to the cash, winners receive a sculpture designed by the late Catalan artist Joan Miro.

Former winners of the Asturias literature prize include Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa, Germany’s Gunter Grass and Canada’s Margaret Atwood.

Elvis joins Tupac Shakur in world of holograms

Elvis is back in the building — the hologram version, that is.

Like the much-hyped Tupac Shakur hologram that debuted at the Coachella music festival, Elvis Presley will get the virtual treatment by the company that made the late rapper’s lifelike hologram.

Digital Domain Media Group announced it is creating a Presley hologram for shows, film, TV and other projects worldwide, including appearances. It has gotten the OK from Elvis Presley Enterprises.

The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll remains one of the most popular figures in music despite his death in 1977.

There is no word on when Hologram Elvis will make its official debut.

Miley Cyrus engaged to Liam Hemsworth

It turns out “The Last Song” was only the beginning for Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.

The couple, who met on the set of the movie in 2009, announced their engagement Wednesday morning. Publicist Jeff Raymond confirmed a People magazine report of the news.

Mr. Hemsworth, the 22-year-old Australian star of “The Hunger Games,” and Ms. Cyrus, the 19-year-old “Hannah Montana” star and singer, got engaged May 31. Mr. Hemsworth proposed with a 3.5-carat diamond ring, People reports.

“I’m so happy to be engaged and look forward to a life of happiness with Liam,” Ms. Cyrus told People.

John Mayer criticizes Taylor Swift’s ‘Dear John’

Taylor Swift has never revealed her target in the scathing song “Dear John,” but John Mayer is pretty sure it was about him — and he doesn’t think that’s cool.

In a Rolling Stone interview, Mr. Mayer called “Dear John” cheap songwriting and said it made him feel terrible — and he didn’t deserve it.

Ms. Swift’s song from the multiplatinum “Speak Now” album dresses down a former boyfriend. Ms. Swift has never confirmed that the pair dated and when asked pointedly refused to say that song was about Mr. Mayer.

Mr. Mayer said he did nothing to deserve the song and said Ms. Swift — his former musical collaborator — kicked him when he was down.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports

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