Sunday, September 16, 2012

No Pulitzer -- You Decide!

There were three finalists for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction:  Train Dreams, by Dennis Johnson; Swamplandia, by Karen Russell; and The Pale King, by David Foster Wallace.  No prize was awarded.  Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, said that, "The three books were fully considered, but in the end, none mustered the mandatory majority for granting a prize, so no prize was awarded."  That's the only explanation.

This has not happened since 1977.  Prior to 2012, the longest time between nonselections was between 1920 and 1941.  In 1941, the committee recommended For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.  However, the president of Columbia University (which administers the Pulitzers) said the book was offensive, so there was no award that year. 

The Muncie (Indiana) Public Library wants to pick up where the Pulitzer jurors left off.  The Kennedy Book Club is reading the books (one per month in September, October, and November) and we'll vote.  It's the least we can do.

We just finished Train Dreams, one of the most memorable books I've read.  And it's a novella.  We're on to Swamplandia.

I'll keep my friends posted.  All advice is welcome as we make this very weighty decision.  And we will decide.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks Elaine. Pale King looks long so I need to get started. I just finished The Philosopher's Apprentice. Wow so much to it and so complicated.

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  2. Train Dreams was Wonderful. You can finish in 2 hours or less, in case you need a break...

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