Pulitzer Day!

April 5, 2004 | 15 books mentioned 2 min read

I’m back from Vegas just in time for the announcement of the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. Here are the winners and finalists in all of the book categories:

NOVEL

DRAMA:

  • I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright Winner!
  • Man from Nebraska by Tracy Letts
  • Omnium Gatherum by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros

HISTORY:

BIOGRAPHY OR AUTOBIOGRAPHY:

POETRY:

GENERAL NON-FICTION:

I have to commend the Pulitzer committee; they really got it right this time. I actually started reading The Known World today because it’s the selection for my book club. I’ll be able to add my two cents at the end of the week, but based on the lavish praise this book received from critics and readers, there’s no doubt it was deserving. Also, the more I hear about Jones, the more I like him. Check out this excerpt from an AP story announcing his victory:

The Pulitzer was a shot of energy on an otherwise down day for Jones, author of a previous book, the acclaimed story collection “Lost in the City.” He was feeling so ill Monday he didn’t bother at first to answer his phone. He also was in the middle of moving from his longtime home in Arlington, Va., because of noisy upstairs neighbors.

“This (award) should give me strength to finish up tomorrow,” said Jones, who next week expects to move into Washington, D.C

I think it’s a particularly writerly trait to be distracted from the demands of the outside world by your inner concerns. As for the other winners, I was thrilled to see Anne Applebaum lauded for her truly astonishing book, Gulag. I’m glad that the Pulitzer did not stick to its bias of rewarding books with American themes in selecting a book that is of universal importance and that greatly expands our knowledge and understanding of what was until now a hidden part of 20th century history. For similar reasons, I was also happy to see Taubman’s biography of Khrushchev get the prize. Daniel Okrent, another favorite author of mine, was named a finalist, as well. All in all, I have no complaints.

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created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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