Pulitzer Prize Fiction

For distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
2020 - The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
A spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.

2019 - The Overstory by Richard Powers
An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.

2018 - Less by Andrew Sean Greer
A generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love.
2017 - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.
2016 - The Sympathiser by Viet Thanh Nguyen
A layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a "man of two minds" -- and two countries, Vietnam and the United States.
2015 - All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
An imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.
2014 - The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
A beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy's entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.
2013 - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.
2012 - No Award

2011 - A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan  (R)
An inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.
2010 - Tinkers by Paul Harding
A powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality.
2009 - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
A collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine that packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating.
2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
2007 - The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2006 - March by Geraldine Brooks  (R)
2005 - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2004 - The Known World Edward P. Jones
2003 - Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides
2002 - Empire Falls by Richard Russo
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2000 - Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri  (R)
1999 - The Hours by Michael Cunningham  (R)
1998 - American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1997 - Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
1996 - Independence Day by Richard Ford
1995 - The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1994 - The Shipping News by Annie Proulx  (R)
1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
1992 - A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1991 - Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
1990 - The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
1989 - Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler  (R)
1988 - Beloved by Toni Morrison
1987 - A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
1986 - Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1985 - Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1984 - Ironweed by William Kennedy
1983 - The Color Purple by Alice Walker (R)
1982 - Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
1981 - A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
1980 - The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
1979 - The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1978 - Elbow Room by James Allen McPherson
1977 - None given
1976 - Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
1975 - The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1974 - None given
1973 - The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
1972 - Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1971 - None given
1970 - Collected Stories by Jean Stafford
1969 - House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1967 - The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1966 - Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter
1965 - The Keepers Of the House by Shirley Anne Grau
1964 - None given
1963 - The Reivers by William Faulkner
1962 - The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor

1961 - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1960 - Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1959 - The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
1958 - A Death in the Family by James Agee
1957 - None
1956 - Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor
1955 - A Fable by William Faulkner
1954 - None
1953 - The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1952 - The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1951 - The Town by Conrad Richter
1950 - The Way West by A. B. Guthrie
1949 - Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1948 - Tales of the South Pacific James A. Michener  (R)
1947 - All the King’s Men (Warren)
1946 - None
1945 - Bell for Adano (Hersey)
1944 - Journey in the Dark (Flavin)
1943 - Dragon’s Teeth I by Lewis Sinclair
1942 - In This Our Life (Glasgow)
1941 - None
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck  (R)
1939 - The Yearling (Rawlings)
1938 - The Late George Apley (Marquand)
1937 - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell  (R)
1936 - Honey in the Horn (Davis)
1935 - Now in November (Johnson)
1934 - Lamb in His Bosom (Miller)
1933 - The Store (Stribling)
1932 - The Good Earth by Pearl Buck
1931 - Years of Grace (Barnes)
1930 - Laughing Boy (Lafarge)
1929 - Scarlet Sister Mary (Peterkin)  

1928 - The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1927 - Early Autumn (Bromfield)
1926 - Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1925 - So Big by Edna Ferber
1924 - The Able McLauglins (Wilson)
1923 - One of Ours by Willa Cather
1922 - Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1921 - The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (R)
1920 - None  

1919 - The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1918 - His Family (Poole)

(R) Read but not reviewed

Other bloggers reading through the Pulitzer lists:

An Avid Reader; A Wannabe Writer
Pulitzer Project
Putzing Through Pulitzers

If your name is not on this list and you would like to be added please leave me the link to your blog
(or the page where your Pulitzer challenge is listed) in the comments below.


  1. Anonymous23/7/15

    Inspired by your blog in so many ways....I am adding a Pulitzer Reading Challenge to my blog.
    No, I will not copy you list ....don't want to create ' another blog ' probleem like I did with the Nobels! :)

  2. Anonymous9/8/15

    My list of Pulitzer Prize winning books is extended to biography and history. There are just too many good books I would miss if I just read fiction.
    Finding that reading Pulitzers is more fun, vibrant than the Nobels. Pultizer was for one specific book and Nobels is based on Nobel on the body of work by an author. That can explain why I read some ' awful ' Nobel books!

  3. Anonymous9/8/15

    I find reading the Pulitzers much more enjoyable than the Nobels.
    Pulitzer was awarded for one specific book while the Nobels is based on a body of work by an author.
    That can explain why I stumbled upon some very boring reads (Contes de Provence, F. Mistral) (Révolte des Anges, Anatole France) (Au-dessus de la mêlée, Romain Rolland).

    1. I find the Pulitzer books more enjoyable too. I've had good intentions re some of the bio and science winners too, but haven't managed one yet.

      I've been trying to read the Noble book that was published stound the time the author was awarded the prize, thinking that it was this book that finally tipped the judges in their favour.


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