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May 19, 2014

Pulitzer Prize winners offer great reading

The Pulitzer Prize was first awarded to writers in 1917, and this year marks its 98th year. Joseph Pulitzer envisioned an advisory board principally made up of newspaper publishers, and hence it has a strong focus on journalism. Today the board is composed of 19 individuals who are leading editors or news executives. It also includes four academics including the president of Columbia University, scholars and other people of distinction who are not editors or journalists. 

The cycle for the Prize this year began with 2,637 entries that were judged by 102 authors, scholars, musicians and journalists. The first round of judging lowers the pool to just three finalists in each category, from which the winner is chosen.

Fourteen Pulitzer Prizes are awarded to journalism and one is awarded for the Prize In Music category. Six prizes are awarded to Letters and Drama in the following categories: Fiction, Drama, History, Biography, Poetry and General Nonfiction. All awards except History are given to an American author and the all of the works but Poetry must be focused on the United States. The winner of the Fiction prize went to “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. The award for Drama was given to Annie Baker for “The Flick.” Alan Taylor (W.W. Norton) won the History award with his book titled “The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832.” The Biography award went to Megan Marshall for “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life.” The Poetry prize was awarded to Vijay Seshadri for “3 Sections.” The General Nonfiction award was given to Dan Fagin for “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation.” These winners are awarded $10,000.


Since summer is coming, I’ve looked at the books that will be released as movies. When the days are long and hot, it’s always nice to slip into the cool and dark of a theater and be drawn into a story.

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