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Pulitzer winners for literature do not include a fiction award

Posted by guest  April 17, 2012 10:59 AM

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The 2012 award for general nonfiction went to “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern,” Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt’s enchanting, expansive explication of the ancient poet Lucretius’ influence on modernity. “The Swerve” also won the 2011 National Book Award.
The history award went to “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” the late Manning Marable’s magisterial biography. Marable’s book was also a finalist in the biography category, but lost out to John Lewis Gaddis' National Book Critics Circle award-winning biography "George F. Kennan: An American Life.”

This year’s poetry award went to "Life on Mars," by Tracy K. Smith, which the committee cited as a collection of bold, skillful poems, taking readers into the universe and moving them to an authentic mix of joy and pain.

Quiara Alegría Hudes’ play about an Iraq vet attempting to make sense of the world and life, "Water by the Spoonful,” won this year’s drama award.
A complete list of nominated finalists, with the winners in bold, follows.

Fiction
No award
Denis Johnson, "Train Dreams”
Karen Russell, "Swamplandia!"
David Foster Wallace, "The Pale King”

Drama
Jon Robin Baitz, "Other Desert Cities”
Quiara Alegría Hudes, "Water by the Spoonful”
Stephen Karam, "Sons of the Prophet”

History
Anne F. Hyde, "Empires, Nations & Families: A History of the North American West, 1800-1860”
Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”
Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, "The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden”
Richard White, "Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America”

Biography
Mary Gabriel, “Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution”
John Lewis Gaddis, “George F. Kennan: An American Life”
Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”
Pulitzer winners for literature do not include a fiction award
Poetry
Forrest Gander, “Core Samples from the World”
Ron Padgett, “How Long”
Tracy K. Smith, “Life on Mars”

General Nonfiction
Diane Ackerman, “One Hundred Names For Love: A Stroke, a Marriage, and the Language of Healing”
Stephen Greenblatt, “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern”
Mara Hvistendahl, “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men”

Michael Washburn can be contacted at www.michaelwashburn.org or on Twitter as @whalelines.

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