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Chapter 20 - The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio


I mentioned a few weeks ago that Barbara Kingsolver has recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Demon Copperhead. In reality she shared this prize with Hernan Diaz who wrote Trust. The prize is $15,000 and is given each year (although a few years it wasn't awarded) for distinguished fiction by an American author preferably dealing with American life. While I was reading about the 2023 winners I decided to look at Pulitzer fiction winners since 1948 and see how many I have actually read. I am not a person who finds it absolutely necessary to read every award winning book out there. There are hundreds of book awards given out (Nobel Prize for Literature, Pulitzer, National Book Award, Booker Prize, Christy Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award, to name a few) that a reader would go broke following all the award winners, not to mention the finalists.


In my long and voracious time as a reader, it seems that I have only read about 14 Pulitzer prize winners. In the history of the award only two writers have won it twice Colson Whitehead with The Nickel Boys (2020) and The Underground Railroad (2017) and William Faulkner with The Reivers (1963) and A Fable (1955).


Here is my list of Pulitzer Prize winning books I have read and totally recommend.


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

The Fixer by Bernard Malamud

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Andersonville by McKinlay Kantor

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway


The one that was a DNF (Did Not Finish) for me was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and I have a few on my TBR pile, Less by Andrew Sean Greer and The Road by Cormac McCarthy which will be read later this year.


I think it would be fun to take the list (https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-category/219) and pick one a year for a book club book. What do you think? Can you see diving into any of the Pulitzer Prize winners as a book club book? Let me know.


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