For The First Time In 35 Years, Pulitzer Prize Judges Decide Not To give Out a Pulitzer For Fiction!
Hi, Bryan Here…..
For the first time since 1977, the Pulitzer Prize judges have DECLINED to give out a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In deciding the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, a committee of readers nominates a short list of titles to a panel of judges. To be selected for the prize, one book must receive a majority vote from the judges. This year, three books were nominated: (1) “Train Dreams” by Denis Johnson, (2) “Swamplandia!” by Karen Russell, and (3) “The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace. None of them received the requisite number of votes.
Denis Johnson’s “Train Dreams” is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions. Robert Grainer is a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century—an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime. Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West—its otherworldly flora and fauna, its rugged loggers and bridge builders—the new novella by the National Book Award-winning author of Tree of Smoke captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.
Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness. As Ava sets out on a mission through the magical swamps to save them all, we are drawn into a lush and bravely imagined debut that takes us to the shimmering edge of reality.
The agents at the IRS Regional Examination Center in Peoria, Illinois, appear ordinary enough to newly arrived trainee David Foster Wallace. But as he immerses himself in a routine so tedious and repetitive that new employees receive boredom-survival training, he learns of the extraordinary variety of personalities drawn to this strange calling. And he has arrived at a moment when forces within the IRS are plotting to eliminate even what little humanity and dignity the work still has.
There is a huge uproar about this in the book and publishing community. This news comes in just a few days after it was announced that the Department of Justice is suing five of the biggest publishing companies. Personally, I would have loved to also see a few other books on this short list. Eugenides’s “The Marriage Plot”, Obreht’s “The Tiger’s Wife,” and Cole’s “Open City” are just a few that I think should have been contenders.
What book and author do you think deserved the 2012 award?