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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pulitzer Prizes Announced Yesterday

posted by on April 8 at 10:38 AM

Sorry this is late—I was on assignment and away from computers for most of yesterday—but the Pulitzer Prizes were announced. Tracy Letts won the Drama category for August: Osage County . The fiction winner was the unsurprising The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz, which has won oodles of awards in the last six months. This is the second year in a row that the Pulitzers have gone totally safe with their fiction choice, after last year’s selection of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.

There were two poetry winners, Time and Materials by Robert Hass and Failure by Philip Schultz. What Hath God Wrought, by Daniel Walker Howe, about a time of great religious and business growth in America, won for history. Eden’s Outcasts, by John Matteson, about Louisa May Alcott and her father, won for biography.

And, to show the kids that the Pulitzers are still radical and relevant, an obscure rock and roll artist named Bobby Dylan won a Special Citation Pulitzer Prize. See? They’re down with the devil’s music at Columbia University!

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Paul, what books would you have awarded prizes to? We can look up Pulitzer winners anywhere else.

Posted by Peter F | April 8, 2008 10:40 AM

Yeah, Stranger should have it's own Paulitzer Prize.

Posted by jhell | April 8, 2008 11:17 AM

I just started Oscar Wao yesterday (on the basis of its TOB win), but isn't it entirely possible that the novel is winning oodles of awards because it's deserving (instead of "safe")? What would have been a deservingly brave choice in your opinion? And are the Pulitzers even meant to be brave anyway?

Posted by josh | April 8, 2008 11:34 AM

I'm still staggered that AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY won the Pulitzer for Drama. How on earth did an excellent play win this prize, which has gone recently to such crap as TOPDOG/UNDERDOG?

Posted by Roscoe | April 8, 2008 11:42 AM

Junot Diaz is reading in my area (NJ) tomorrow-I can't wait to hear his reaction.

Posted by jayme | April 8, 2008 12:05 PM

I heard the Times was busy reading No Country For Old Men ... when the awards came out ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 8, 2008 12:29 PM

@1 and 3: Oscar Wao is a great book. But the Pulitzer will frequently pick something from the lesser literary pile that deserves extra attention (a la Russo's Empire Falls, which I loved, or Middlesex.) I was thinking that perhaps Amy Bloom's Away would be good for that. But don't interpret my talk of Oscar Wao to be a dismissal; I just didn't think it needed to win another award, since it deservedly ruled the literary roost last year.

Posted by Paul Constant | April 8, 2008 2:03 PM

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