The Baltimore Sun

First dog expected by first family in April

We can all breathe easier now: The Obamas are getting a dog in April.

First lady Michelle Obama - who says she favors Portuguese water dogs - tells People magazine that the target date for the arrival of the family pet is after her daughters' spring break trip in April, though 7-year-old Sasha is convinced the dog is coming April 1.

The interview appears in tomorrow's editions of People - the one with the first lady on the cover.

PEN/Faulkner winner

Joseph O'Neill's Netherland, an acclaimed post-Sept. 11 novel bypassed for the National Book Awards and the National Book Critics Circle prize, has won the PEN/Faulkner Award for fiction. The choice will be announced today by Susan Richards Shreve and Robert Stone, directors of the Washington-based PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

O'Neill will receive $15,000. The finalists - Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's Ms. Hempel Chronicles, Susan Choi's A Person of Interest, Richard Price's Lush Life and Ron Rash's Serena - each get $5,000.

Prolific Roth

Philip Roth, who turns 76 next month, is still at the keyboard.

His publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, announced yesterday that the Pulitzer Prize-winning author will have a novel out this fall, titled The Humbling, about an aging stage performer. Next year, he'll have another book, Nemesis, set during a polio epidemic in 1944.

Just posted

After today, gossip columnist Liz Smith will not have a home in a New York City tabloid for the first time in 33 years.

The New York Post is dropping her column, citing hard times.

Col Allan, editor in chief of the Post, told Smith in a Feb. 9 letter that said he was dropping what he called her "legendary column."

Smith, 86, founder and part owner of the 11-month-old site, for "women on Web," said she looked forward to posting scoops there - "free from the constraints of newspaper deadlines."


Singer Fats Domino, 81.

Political columnist Robert Novak, 78.

Singer Michael Bolton, 56.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, 51.

Singer Erykah Badu, 38.

R&B; singer Corinne Bailey Rae, 30.

Actress Taylor Dooley, 16.

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