The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most prestigious and recognizable awards in the worlds journalism, literature, and nonfiction. Recognizing exemplary work in a wide range of categories, the Pulitzer has long been a measure of extraordinary writing. With the announcement of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners set for April 16th, this seemed the perfect opportunity to take a look at some recent works by past winners. Fortunately, there are quite a few to choose from across a broad spectrum, ranging from memoirs to in-depth journalism to all manner of fiction. So, as we wait to see who will take home this year’s prizes, let’s take a look at what some past winners have been up to.
Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
John Lewis Gaddis
John Lewis Gaddis won a Pulitzer in 2012 for George F. Kennan: An American Life. With On Grand Strategy, Gaddis presents readers with a veritable masterclass in strategic thinking. Drawing on his almost two decades of experience teaching grand strategy at Yale University, Gaddis provides a fascinating and readable view into how leaders make strategic decisions.
The Exile of Pius IX and the Emergence of Modern Europe
David I. Kertzer
Given that his last foray into Papal history – The Pope and Mussolini – garnered a Pulitzer in 2015, David I. Kertzer’s latest is one to keep an eye on. In The Pope Who Would Be King, Kertzer sheds light on a pivotal, untold story in the history of modern Europe – a violent 1848 revolution that wrested political power from Pope Pious IX, forced him into exile, and changed the face of European relations.
Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America
With his 2015 collection and Pulitzer Prize winner Digest, Gregory Pardlo wove a searing examination of race, fatherhood, and American identity. In Air Traffic, he turns his extraordinary wordsmithing to prose with a memoir that explores Pardlo’s difficult upbringing and complex relationship with his charismatic father.
Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found
In Beneath a Ruthless Sun, Gilbert King returns to themes he knows well – racial injustice, bigotry, and corruption. Following the success of his 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner Devil in the Grove, King delves into the true story of a community rocked by a startling rape in 1957, a man falsely accused, and a shocking conspiracy.
A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State
Best known for his powerful and Pulitzer-winning examination of the events that led to the 9/11 terror attacks, with God Save Texas Wright turns his penetrating insight on the complex cultural and political landscape of his native state of Texas. At times humorous and biting, Wright paints an intriguing portrait of one of the most fascinating states in the Union.
Winners of the Pultizer Prize for Journalism
The Country's Collapsing . . . and the Ratings Are Great
Charlie Leduff won a Pulitzer for his work on the New York Times series How Race is Lived in America. Known for delving deep into his subjects, LeDuff then pitched the idea for a TV series called “The Americans.” The show would see the hard charging and tempestuous LeDuff making his way across the country to get at the heart of an increasingly disenchanted and polarized America. Sh*tshow! is that story.
Anna Quindlen won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992, and with Alternate Side she turns to fiction as a framework for her insights. Alternate Side explores the impact of an unexpected act of violence on both a seemingly happy marriage and a tight-knit neighborhood. In the aftermath of a terrible incident, fault lines and veneers crack and a small, tranquil neighborhood becomes a microcosm for a divided city.
Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Best known for his Pulitzer Prize winner Empire Falls, Richard Russo’s latest is a departure from the blue-collar denizens that populate much of his work. Trajectory is a collection of four short stories centering on characters – a young professor, a realtor, a retired academic, and a novelist – forced into a reckoning with their past. In true Russo fashion, each is brilliantly realized, complex, and at times heartbreaking.
Egan won a Pulitzer in 2011 for her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. With her first foray into historical fiction, Egan creates a page-turning, noir-tinged thriller centering on a woman named Anna, a woman working in the Naval yards of Brooklyn in WWII. She soon finds herself caught up in the secretive world of her missing father and a dizzying world of gangsters, union men, and WWII era New York.
Best known for her Pulitzer Prize winner Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout is beloved for her deft touch at wringing every ounce of emotion and insight from the seemingly innocuous lives of everyday people. With Anything is Possible, Strout examines familial bonds, reconciliation, and redemption through an indelible cast of brilliantly drawn small-town characters.