Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution

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2012: The Year With No Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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A curious statement was made by this year’s Pulitzer Prize committee as, for the first time since A River Runs Through It failed to win in 1977, no award was given in the fiction category. Instead, Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s Swamplandia!, and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King will get to split the “tie” on their records. In the history of the Prize, there have only been nine other years without a fiction winner.

Meanwhile in the General Nonfiction category, Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern took home the top prize.

Here are this year’s Pulitzer winners and finalists with excerpts where available:


Train Dreams by Denis Johnson – (excerpt)
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (excerpt, The Millions interview)
The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (excerpt, previously unpublished scene)

General Nonfiction:

Winner: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (excerpt)
One Hundred Names For Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing by Diane Ackerman (excerpt)
Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl (excerpt)


Winner: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable (excerpt, The Millions review)
Empires, Nations & Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860 by Anne F. Hyde (excerpt – PDF)
The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (excerpt)
Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America by Richard White (excerpt)


Winner: George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis (excerpt)

Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution by  Mary Gabriel (excerpt)
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable (excerpt, The Millions review)

Winners and finalists in other categories are available at the Pulitzer Web site.

2011 National Book Award Finalists Announced

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Award season is hitting its stride, and this year’s National Book Award finalists have been announced. For the second year in a row, the fiction finalists number four women versus one male author, and many of the “bigger” literary releases of the year are nowhere to be found. Also for the second year in a row, a New Yorker “20 Under 40” writer is recognized. By virtue of that, Téa Obreht may be the most well-known name of the bunch (our review). A pair of independent or university presses are represented among the fiction finalists, including Bellevue Literary Press, which made its name when Paul Harding’s Tinkers won the 2010 Pulitzer.

In nonfiction, we have the first graphic book in to be recognized in this category.

Update: There was a late addition to the YA finalists list: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Update 2: Due to a mixup by and subsequent pressure from the Foundation, Lauren Myracle has withdrawn Shine from consideration.

Here’s a list of the finalists in all four categories with bonus links and excerpts where available:


The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (excerpt)
The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (excerpt)
The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (excerpt)
Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman (excerpt)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (excerpt)


The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism by Deborah Baker (excerpt)
Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution by Mary Gabriel (excerpt)
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (excerpt)
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable (our review)
Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss (excerpt)


Head Off & Split by Nikky Finney
The Chameleon Couch by Yusef Komunyakaa
Double Shadow by Carl Phillips
Tonight No Poetry Will Serve: Poems: 2007-2010 by Adrienne Rich (excerpt)
Devotions by Bruce Smith

Young People’s Literature:

My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai (excerpt)
Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin (excerpt)
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt (excerpt)

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