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Cunningham’s The Hours nabbed the 1999 Pulitzer Prize by pushing literary boundaries, and Specimen Days pushed a little further. A trio of stories in three distinct time periods all take place in and around New York City: one in the 19th century, one in the present, and the last one some time in the future. Each story is linked through characters and emotions that appear across the boundaries of time and space. Wafting through each tale is the presence of Walt Whitman’s poetry. Cunningham’s previous novels—A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood earned him legions of fans, and his interviews offer them a great deal.