Saturday, May 22, 2010

Booklist: The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


The first list of books I am choosing from for this 40x40 Project is from the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The most prestigious of all literary prizes, and considered one of the highest accolades an author can receive. The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is awarded for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.

In existence since 1948, the award is administered by Columbia University. An endowment to the university by the late Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher recognized for his visionary role in the professionalization of journalism, provides the funding for these awards. In his will, $2,000,000.00 was dedicated toward the development of The Journalism School .

One fourth of the endowment was to go be applied to “prizes, or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of the arts.”

The prize board’s deliberations on the year’s prizes are kept in utmost secrecy. The board is steadfast in refusing to answer the call to publicly debate or defend its choices or actions.

The following books have received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1972 to the 2010:

1972 Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
1973 The Optimist's Daughter, Eudora Welty
1974 No Award Given
1975 The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
1976 Humboldt's Gift, Saul Bellow
1978 Elbow Room, James Alan McPherson
1979 The Stories of John Cheever, John Cheever
1980 The Executioner's Song, Norman Mailer
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
1982 Rabbit is Rich, John Updike
1983 The Color Purple, Alice Walker
1984 Ironweed William Kennedy
1985 Foreign Affairs, Alison Lurie
1986 Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
1987 A Summons to Memphis,Peter Taylor
1988 Beloved,Toni Morrison
1989 Breathing Lessons, Anne Tyler
1990 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Oscar Hijuelos
1991 Rabbit At Rest, John Updike
1992 A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
1993 A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain, Robert Olen Butler
1994 The Shipping News, E. Annie Proulx
1995 The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
1996 Independence Day, Richard Ford
1997 Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer, Steven Millhauser
1998 American Pastoral, Philip Roth
1999 The Hours, Michael Cunningham
2000 Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon
2002 Empire Falls, Richard Russo
2003 Middlesex , Jeffrey Eugenides
2004 The Known World, Edward P. Jones
2005 Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
2006 March, Geraldine Brooks
2007 The Road, Cormac McCarthy
2008 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz
2009 Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
2010 Tinkers, Paul Harding

Image taken from: www.pulitzer.org/theMedal
Source: Topping, Seymour, "History of The Pulitzer Prizes." The Pulitzer Prizes. May 7, 2010. http://www.pulitzer.org/historyofprizes
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