2019 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Seira Wilson on April 16, 2019
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Pulitzer.jpgThis year's Pulitzer Prize winners for literary excellence include biographies of important figures from American history, a novel that can change the way we view the trees around us, and a powerful exposé of energy politics. 

Congratulations to all of the 2019 award-winners below, and you can see the full list including music, drama, and of course, journalism here.



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FICTION: The Overstory by Richard Powers

One of our favorite books of last year, The Overstory is a beautiful ode to the natural world and our relationship to the trees that tower, often overlooked, alongside us. "This gorgeously written novel will seduce you into looking more closely at not only our fellow human beings but the towering bio-kingdom that is too often merely a backdrop to our days. Perhaps, like me, you will be inspired to walk out into the night to smell the rain sweeping through the nearby evergreen trees."-- Adrian Liang, for the Amazon Book Review

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HISTORY: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

Using newly discovered and previously unavailable information, David W. Blight has written the definitive biography of one of the most important figures in our nation's history, Frederick Douglass. "This thorough and highly readable biography traces Douglass’s entire life, starting on a plantation in Maryland, covering his education and eventual escape, his two marriages, his complicated relationship with his family, and his work as an abolitionist and orator. In the end, the reader will walk away with a deeper grasp of a still deeply misunderstood chapter of American history, as well as understanding, respect, and admiration for one of the county’s greatest figures. --Chris Schluep, for the Amazon Book Review

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BIOGRAPHY: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

The winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction, The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke is an insightful biography that explores Locke's personal and professional life. The father of the Harlem Renaissance and the first African American Rhodes Scholar, Locke also had the courage to live as an openly gay man. Stewart's sweeping portrait captures the complexity of a man who made significant and enduring contributions to African American culture and our society as a whole.

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POETRY: Be With by Forrest Gander

A Pulitzer finalist for his last book of poetry, Core Samples from the World, Forrest Gander plumbs the depths of grief, loss, and intimacy in Be With. Throughout the three sections of Be With, Gander uses language and style in a wholly original way while drawing on varied experiences and examinations from his life to create this award-winning poetry collection.

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GENERAL NONFICTION: Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

When fracking arrived in Stacey Haney's small Pennsylvania town it seemed like a windfall.  But there was a dark side, and as people and animals began falling ill and dying, Haney's concerns were met with indifference and silence. Eliza Griswold expertly tells the story of one woman who did not shy away from a fight with big energy. Instead, in order to expose the truth, she took the plight of her small town to the national stage.  A powerful and inspiring look at politics and power in rural America.


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