As we mentioned yesterday, the Pulitzer Prize awards work a little differently than most other literary honors: Instead of announcing finalists in advance, everything is announced at once. Both winner and runner-up finalists find out on the same day. Even the members of the jury are kept in secret until announcement day.
This year’s announcement day took place yesterday afternoon, revealing the five lauded authors who took home the top prize in fiction, general nonfiction, history, biography, and poetry.
National Book Award winner Richard Powers’ book was already a New York Times best-seller and a shortlist selection for the Man Booker Prize before word of the Pulitzer was announced. Selected by a jury that included co-editor of the National Book Review Elizabeth Taylor, the board describes Powers’ 12th novel as “an ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.”
“The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt. Using the tools of the story, he pulls readers heart-first into a perspective so much longer-lived and more subtly developed than the human purview that we gain glimpses of a vast, primordial sensibility, while watching our own kind get whittled down to size,” writes Barbara Kingsolver for The New York Times Book Review.
Fiction finalists: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai; There, There by Tommy Orange.