Volatile, Discomforting DISGRACED Earns Its Pulitzer

October 24, 2014 7:52 AM

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The opening scene of Ayad Akhtar's 2013 Pulitzer-winner, Disgraced, seems innocuous enough at first glance. An attractive and apparently well-off couple is relaxing in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, with the wife sketching a portrait of her husband.

But the portrait the blonde, white woman is working on, a sketch for what will be a painting, is modeled after Diego Velazquez's portrait of Juan de Pareja, a Moor who was his slave when the Spaniard portrayed him dressed as a nobleman.

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