Yeah, sorry about dropping the blogging ball on this one. I managed to tweet about the Pulitzers when the 2010 winners were announced, but didn’t even think about blogging. Oops.
But oh what a happy day it was! I love the Pulitzers, mainly because the fiction winners comprise one of my central booklists, a list I use to determine my reading agendas more than, say, the winners of the Booker Prize or National Book Awards. I believe in the importance of the Pulitzers more than many other literary awards—perhaps because of its history, perhaps because it’s an American award, perhaps because its winners receive so much critical attention (in direct relation to the award’s weight and significance).
I was surprised at this year’s fiction winner, Tinkers by Paul Harding. Omnivoracious points out that recent Pulitzer winners have been heavy hitters (The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Middlesex), but Tinkers is Harding’s quiet debut novel. Quiet but powerful. I personally liked that the winner came out of left field; one can only monitor the publishing scene for so long before one tires of “big books” and racetrack-like speculation. Plus, coming from a small independent publisher, Tinkers proves the power of a good story over marketing tactics.
Other winners include:
History: Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
Biography: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt by T.J. Stiles
General Nonfiction: The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and its Dangerous Legacy by David E. Hoffman
Poetry: Versed by Rae Armantrout
Drama: Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
Image from here.