09 January, 2021

More Pulitzer Finalists

 


I took the opportunity to pick up some more Pulitzer finalists over the holiday season at very reasonable prices.


The oldest finalist is Peter Feibleman's "Strangers and Graves" published in 1966. Officially, Pulitzer Board only started publishing the 2 finalists from 1980, so any finalist prior to that was determined based on my judgement from reading the Jury reports published in the "Chronicle of the Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction". For that year, "[a]mong other novels and short stories, there were perhaps a dozen or so seriously considered by the Judges...", including Feibleman's, John Barth's "Giles Goatboy", and Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49". Bernard Malamud's "The Fixer" took the prize.


For the 1999 Pulitzer, Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" and Russell Banks' "Cloudsplitter" were both finalists to Michael Cunningham's "The Hours". This would be Kingsolver's sole Pulitzer appearance and banks' second and last: he was also finalist for the 1986's prize for "Continental Drift" with Anne Taylor's "The Accidental Tourist", and the winner was William Kennedy's "Ironweed".


Then there is Ha Jin's "War Trash", a 2005 finalist with fellow finalist, Ward Just's "An Unfinished Season" and winner, Marilynne Robinson's "Gilead". This was also Ha Jin's second and final Pulitzer appearance, having been also a finalist in 2000 with "Waiting", a National Book Award winner.


Finally, there is Richard Ford's "Let Me be Frank with You" that graced the 2015 Pulitzer with fellow finalists, Laila Lalami's "the Moor's Account" and Joyce Carol Oates' "Lovely, Dark, Deep", and winner, Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See". Incidentally, this was also Ford's second and final Pulitzer appearance, having won the prize in 1996 with "Independence Day"

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