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The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

The Pulitzer Prize has been awarded by Columbia University since 1917.

The awards are given on the recommendations of a board of jurors for Journalism, Letters, Music and Drama. The awards for Letters include Fiction, which is listed here, Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography or Autobiography, and History.


Olive KitteridgeOlive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Publisher Comments
In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge. (read more)


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Powells.com Staff Pick
Leaping back and forth between the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, pouring across pages in a "combustible mix of slang and lyricism" (quoth Booklist), Oscar Wao bridges several generations and distinct cultures with exhilarating doses of Caribbean history and old-fashioned pulse-pounding drama. Politics, corruption, romance, fantasy, faith, despair — the novel, as Diaz explained in a Powells.com interview, contains multitudes. Recommended by Dave, Powells.com (read more)


The RoadThe Road by Cormac McCarthy

Powells.com Staff Pick
Being one of the few who didn't care for No Country for Old Men, I couldn't wait to read The Road. It is a spare, fierce novel, more a return to the writing in Outer Dark. It drew me in immediately; I didn't want to put it down, and kept reading until I finished it. It's an unsettling post-apocalyptic tale of a father and son making their way in an uncertain time without much use for conversation, just action and reaction. I didn't want a bleak, inhumane end for these two fragile souls, and McCarthy did leave a thread of hope. The Road is definitely the best book I have read in the last year or two. Recommended by Brodie, Powells.com (read more)


MarchMarch by Geraldine Brooks

Powells.com Staff Pick
In her follow-up to Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks has taken historical fiction to another dimension altogether. Using America's Civil War as her frame, she plants a famous (but deeply mysterious) literary figure at its center: Mr. March, the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's classic, Little Women. The result is a wholly original novel, a rich re-imagining of the nation's political and literary foundations, and arguably Brooks's finest work to date. Dave, Powells.com (read more)


GileadGilead by Marilynne Robinson

Powells.com Staff Pick
A story about faith, love, history and growing old, this book is poignant and lovely. It is a long letter from a father who thinks he is soon to die, to his seven-year-old son. Robinson's command of language, her deep understanding of humanity, and her own religious study come together in this outstanding novel. It was worth the twenty-year wait. Beth, Powells.com (read more)


The Known WorldThe Known World by Edward P. Jones

"With hard-won wisdom and hugely effective understatement, Mr. Jones explores the unsettling, contradiction-prone world of a Virginia slaveholder who happens to be black." Janet Maslin, The New York Times (read more)



MiddlesexMiddlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

"With a sure yet light-handed touch, Eugenides skillfully bends our notions of gender as we realize, along with Cal, that although he has been raised as a girl, he is more comfortable as a boy." Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist (read more)


Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Powells.com Staff Pick
In lieu of the driving narrative voice of Straight Man, Empire Falls delves into a large cast of strong characters who will live on in the reader's mind long after the novelproper has ended. Russo's sprawling Pulitzer Prize winner impresses on many levels — it's a large-scale epic that doesn't glossover its characters' most intimate longings, and Russo does a terrific job of balancing a large, diverse cast — but what astonishes me the most is how quickly it ends; the narrative plunges ahead at a breakneck pace. Ultimately it's heartbreaking and stirring, and the reader will remember Empire Falls as vividly as if they'd personally visited the town itself. Recommended byBolton, Powells.com (read more)

2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

2000 Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

1999 The Hoursby Michael Cunningham

1998 American Pastoral by Philip Roth

1997 Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser

1996 Independence Day by Richard Ford

1995 The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

1994 The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

1993 A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

1991 Rabbit At Rest by John Updike
1990 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison
1987 A Summons To Memphis by Peter Taylor
1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry Mcmurtry
1985 Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1984 Ironweed by William Kennedy
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1982 Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1980 The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
1979 The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1978 Elbow Room: Stories by James Alan Mcpherson
1977 No award was given.
1976 Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
1975 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1974 No award was given.
1973 The Optimist's Daughter (large Print) by Eudora Welty
1972 Angle of Repose by Wallace Earle Stegner
1971 No award was given.
1970 The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
1969 House Made of Dawn by N Scott Momaday
1968 The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1966 The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
1965 The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1964 No award was given.
1963 The Reivers: A Reminiscence by William Faulkner
1962 The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor
1961 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1960 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1959 The Travels of Jaimie Mcpheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
1958 A Death in the Family by James Agee
1957 No award was given.
1956 Andersonville by Mackinlay Kantor
1955 A Fable by William Faulkner
1954 No award was given.
1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1952 The Caine Mutiny: A Novel of World War II by Herman Wouk
1951 The Town by Conrad Richter
1950 The Way West by A B Guthrie
1949 Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1948 Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1947 All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
1946 No award was given.
1945 A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1944 Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1943 Dragon's Teeth I by Upton Sinclair
1942 In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1941 No award was given.
1940 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1939 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1938 The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
1937 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1936 Honey in the Horn by Harold Lenoir Davis
1935 Now in November by Josephine W. Johnson
1934 Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1933 The Store by Thomas Stribling
1932 The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1931 Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1930 Laughing Boy by Oliver Lafarge
1929 Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1928 The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1927 Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1926 Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1925 So Big by Edna Ferber
1924 The Able Mclaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1923 One of Ours by Willa Silbert Cather
1922 Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1921 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1920 No award was given.
1919 The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1918 His Family by Ernest Poole


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