Pulitzer Prize Winners in Fiction
I did the Research so you don't have to!
Pulitzer awards prizes in 21 categories in journalism, literature, and music; for books, Fiction by an American author, Biography/Autobiography, Nonfiction, History, Poetry. Prizes are awarded in April. This list covers awards for Fiction since 2000. (I'm working on adding them all)
** Books I've read are in bold and reviewed books are bold and blue.
2021 - The Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich, 213 pages
Based on her dad's life, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction.
2020 - The Nickel Boys, Richard Powers, 213 pages
Based on a true story, this fictionalized story of a boys reform school in FL where black boys were tortured and secretly buried is compelling and tragic.
2018 - Less by Andrew Sean Greer, 273 pages
About to turn 50, author gets wedding invite from his ex boyfriend, so he accepts speaking engagements all over world to avoid wedding - satire of American abroad, love story of chances lost.
2016 - The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, 371 pages
Saigon 1975, gripping spy novel explores extreme politics and even love as a general in South Vietnamese army and his trusted captain move to U.S. and captain reports back to Viet Cong on all the general's activities.
2015 - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, 531 pages
Blind French girl and German boy try to survive WWII; how people, even in devastating times, can try to be good to each other.
2014 - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, 771 pages
Boy loses his mother and is taken in by wealthy family. He holds onto one thing of his mom's, a painting. As an adult he works in an antique store and moves in wealthy but dangerous circles, is alienated and in love. Story of loss and obsession, survival and self invention.
2013 - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson, 443 paes
Part thriller, part innocence lost, romantic love and view into the corrupt, cruel world of N Korea as JunDo tries to save the woman he loves.
no award given 2012
2011 - A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, 288 pages
An interplay of time and music told in a range of styles and tones from tragedy to satire as we learn about the inner/secret lives of the variety of characters and how they intersect.
2010 - Tinkers, Paul Harding, 192 pages
As an old man lays dying, he drifts in memory back to his impoverished childhood and intertwines with his father's and grandfather's memories; heartbreaking and life affirming, a meditation of love, loss, illness, faith.
2009 - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, 270 pages
In each chapter Olive, a retired school teacher, interacts with someone from her small town - sometimes with compassion, sometimes with denial as they grapple with their problems, big and small; a treatise on the human condition.
2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, 335 pages
Overweight, lovesick Dominican nerd and his life as he tries to find love in spite of the family curse that has followed them for generations; told with energy and humor.
2007 - The Road by Cormac McCarthy, 241 pages
Post apocalyptic story of a father and son as they walk through a burned America; the story of a journey which imagines a future of no hope but also of two people sustained by love.
2006 - March by Geraldine Brooks, 280 pages
Historical fiction with romance during time of catastrophe on front lines of American Civil War; the story of Little Women's absent father, a chaplain, who goes to serve the Union cause where he finds his faith in his beliefs and in himself tested.
2005 - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, 247 pages
#1 in series; A story of fathers and sons and spiritual battles through three generations from civil war to 20th century; a dying minister writes a letter to his young son.
2004 - The Known World by Edward P. Jones, 388 pages
Unflinching look at slavery in all its moral complexities in pre-civil war Virginia as a black farmer and former slave falls under tutelage of powerful black slave owner. When owner dies unexpectedly, his wife can't hold the estate together and chaos ensues. Non-linear format.
2003 - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, 529 pages
Epic story of Greek girl and three generations of her family from Greece to Detroit. She discovers a family secret and surprising genetic history that turns Callie into Cal.
2002 - Empire Falls by Richard Russo, 483 pages
Miles has been cooking burgers in small town for 20 years and stays for his daughter, ex-wife, and maybe the rich woman who thinks she runs the town; blue collar town friends and neighbors find humor and hope in life.
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, 639 pages
A young Jewish artist has escaped Nazi-invaded Prague and comes to NYC where he finds his cousin who wants to create stories for the hot new thing…comic books. They become friends and create successful characters and then it all falls apart.