The Pulitzer Prize, one of America’s highest awards for journalism, media, literature and music was announced today by the Pulitzer committee. Announcing winners from 21 categories, the prizes included a score of books and writers that have made cultural splashes in the past year. Here is a round-up of the winners along with the citations given upon their award.
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.
Sweat, by Lynn Nottage
For a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon)
For a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.
BIOGRAPHY or AUTOBIOGRAPHY
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar (Random House)
For a first-person elegy for home and father that examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.
Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books)
For a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)
For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.
Hilton Als of The New Yorker
For bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.