Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pulitzer Pulitzer Pulitzer

Typically this doesn’t happen. Typically I’m counting the days until the announcement of each big literary prize. Typically I’m aware of the odds-on favorite in each category. Not this year. The announcement of the Pulitzer Prizes didn’t so much as sneak up on me as run right past me. I even missed its coattails. I’m blaming this oversight on the inordinate amount of time I have spent on the opening weeks of baseball season. That being said, I have some serious catching up to do. My reading list over the next few weeks is now set.

Columbia University and the Pulitzer judges announced the 2009 winners this past Monday. The Pulitzer Prize—awarded annually to the best expression of each category—provides a nice payday, increased book sales, and the distinction of almost assured preservation in the pantheon of American letters. Some winners were relative surprises, whereas The Hemingses of Monticello adds the Pulitzer feather to its already decorated cap.

2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners
Title links to catalog record. Author links to review.

Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout)

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Annette Gordon-Reed)

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (Jon Meacham)

The Shadow of Sirius (W.S. Merwin)

General Nonfiction
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Douglas A. Blackmon)

Ruined (Lynn Nottage)
To be published November 2009

The numerous journalism winners may be accessed using The Austin Public Library’s databases, notably Factiva.

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