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Pulitzer Prize meme

The usual: bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved. These are the Pulitzer Prize winners for the Fiction (since 1948) and Novel (to 1947) categories.

2007: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2006: March by Geraldine Brooks
2005: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2004: The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2003: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2002: Empire Falls by Richard Russo
2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2000: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
1999: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
1998: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1997: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
1996: Independence Day by Richard Ford
1995: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1994: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1993: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
1992: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1991: Rabbit At Rest by John Updike
1990: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
1989: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison
1987: A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
1986: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1985: Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1984: Ironweed by William Kennedy
1983: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1982: Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
1981: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1980: The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
1979: The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1978: Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
1977: no award given
1976: Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
1975: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1974: no award given [Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon recommended by the jury but turned down by the Pulitzer board]
1973: The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
1972: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1971: no award given
1970: The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
1969: House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
1968: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1967: The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1966: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
1965: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1964: no award given
1963: The Reivers by William Faulkner
1962: The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor
1961: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1960: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1959: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
1958: A Death in the Family by James Agee
1957: no award given
1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1955: A Fable by William Faulkner
1954: no award given
1953: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1952: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1951: The Town by Conrad Richter
1950: The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
1949: Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1948: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1947: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
1946: no award given
1945: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1944: Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1943: Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
1942: In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1941: no award given
1940: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1939: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1938: The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
1937: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1936: Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1935: Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
1934: Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1933: The Store by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1931: Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1930: Laughing Boy by Oliver Lafarge
1929: Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1927: Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1926: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (declined prize)
1925: So Big! by Edna Ferber
1924: The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1923: One of Ours by Willa Cather
1922: Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1921: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1920: no award given
1919: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1918: His Family by Ernest Poole

I haven't read a lot of them (yet).


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2007 06:06 pm (UTC)
I strongly recommend "The Killer Angels," although I also recommend not trying it as a stand-alone. It works best as part of the trilogy that Shaara's son Jeff wrote around it -- Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and The Last Full Measure.
May. 20th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
Having seen the movie of "The Hours" probably doesn't count, does it. Man. I've only read 3 of those (THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, and BELOVED). That seems rather pathetic...
May. 21st, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
No asterisks?
Jun. 2nd, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
Gosh, I've read very few of these indeed.

And several of those I have (the more recent ones), I've loved, which ought to say something I guess. (Though there is a selection bias there.)

Those I've read: Gilead, Kavalier and Clay, A Confederacy of Dunces -- all truly great books, plus a couple I was assigned in High School: To Kill a Mockingbird (certainly not a "great" book, but I did enjoy it then) and A Death in the Family (don't remember it well).

Also I read The Old Man and the Sea -- good but not even close to Hemingway's best; and The Caine Mutiny -- OK but not that great. The older Pulitzer winners look rather earnestly middlebrow -- even pandering -- from this remove. (Gone with the Wind? Anything by Pearl Buck??? The Yearling? Tarkington?)

And that's about it. Embarrassing, I suppose, but to be honest I fell very little guilt. I'll probably get around to The Road and Beloved sometime. I did really like Lahiri's novel The Namesake, so I suppose I will read Interpreter of Maladies. And I don't know what else? If I'm going to read Faulkner it'll be The Sound and the Fury or As I Lady Dying, not The Reivers or A Fable. If I'm going to read Bellow (besides the several shorter works I've already read like Dangling Man) it'll be Augie March. (Though I suppose I won't rule out Humboldt's Gift.) And many of the others I have precious little interest in trying.

Rich Horton
Jun. 5th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
And How About the Bookers?
I suppose probably there has already been a Booker (aka Man Booker) Prize "meme" before, but it strikes me immediately that the Booker list has been far better for me (an American) in identifying good fiction than the Pulitzer list.

Booker winners I've read:
Michael Ondaatje's THE ENGLISH PATIENT
Kingsley Amis's THE OLD DEVILS
Anita Brookner's HOTEL DU LAC
Penelope Fitzgerald's OFFSHORE
Iris Murdoch's THE SEA, THE SEA

Of these I love almost all -- perhaps I only like Brookner's novel, and I think McEwan's and Fitzgerald's much less than the author's best.


(I have the Doyle and Atwood novels and will likely at least read them.)

There is a sense that they miss the best of some writers: why the slight (though still quite good) AMSTERDAM and not the brilliant ATONEMENT? Why OFFSHORE (again, quite good) and not THE BLUE FLOWER or THE GATE OF ANGELS? In the case of Amis and Murdoch, the novels chosen are outstanding -- but both did even better work before the Booker ezisted.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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