Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pulitzer Snub

By now, most of you have read about the snub the Pulitzer Prize Committee gave to the Fiction category when awarding this prestigious trophy for books from 2011. Three novels were nominated by the Pulitzer jury, but none were deemed worthy of being chosen for this year's fiction award. They were not distinguished enough.

The three books nominated were:
1.  Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
2.  Swamplandia by Karen Russell
3.  The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

You can look them up at Amazon.com to find out more about each one. After reading about no fiction prize being awarded, I almost felt like sending condolence notes to each of the authors above. So close to the gold ring, and they missed it. The Pulitzer Prize has not awarded a prize for fiction eleven times in its history, so this omission is not a first.
I found a list of novels that did receive the prize since 1918. Check it here to see the titles. I've read 21 of these books. How many have you read?

The selection committee felt that no fiction book published in 2011 was distinguished enough to earn the prize. In my estimation, that's rather sad. Granted, I am looking at the novels strictly as a reader, not a judge, but I think I might have been able to choose at least one of the many that had earned a place on bookshelves in shops, libraries and online booksellers. A sad state of affairs methinks!

1 comment:

  1. I've only read 14 of them, but only a handful really stick out in my mind as being wonderful books. Probably too many were attempted in school, under pressure to examine or discuss. I am now very curious about the three that were not selected. Will add them to my to-read list!