22 Pulitzer Prize-winning books (22 items)

Bethan Owen

June 12, 2014

On June 4, 1917, the first Pulitzer Prize was awarded. The Pulitzer, which is awarded to a wide range of written media forms from reporting to poetry, is still an honor in the literary world to this day. "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt received the award in 2014 for fiction, forever solidifying it as an important work in American literature. Tartt, a novelist by trade, had her first book published in 1992. In honor of Tartt's 22 years of writing, assembled here are the 22 most recent Pulitzer-winning novels. All information and book summaries have been taken from the Pulitzer website, with the exception of years 1994 and 1992, whose descriptions came from Amazon, and 1993 which came from the Grove Atlantic.

1 of 22. 1992 - A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

"A successful Iowa farmer decides to divide his farm between his three daughters. When the youngest objects, she is cut out of his will. This sets off a chain of events that brings dark truths to light and explodes long-suppressed emotions. An ambitious reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear cast upon a typical American community in the late twentieth century, 'A Thousand Acres' takes on themes of truth, justice, love, and pride, and reveals the beautiful yet treacherous topography of humanity."

2 of 22. 1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler

"'A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain' is Robert Olen Butler’s...collection of lyrical and poignant stories about the aftermath of the Vietnam War and its enduring impact on the Vietnamese. Written in a soaring prose, Butler’s haunting and powerful stories blend Vietnamese folklore and contemporary American realities, creating a vibrant panorama that is epic in its scope. "

3 of 22. 1994 - The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

"Quoyle is a hapless, hopeless hack journalist living and working in New York. When his no-good wife is killed in a spectacular road accident, Quoyle heads for the land of his forefathers -- the remotest corner of far-flung Newfoundland. With 'the aunt' and his delinquent daughters -- Bunny and Sunshine -- in tow, Quoyle finds himself part of an unfolding, exhilarating Atlantic drama. 'The Shipping News' is an irresistible comedy of human life and possibility."

4 of 22. 1995 - The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

"'The Stone Diaries' is one ordinary woman's story of her journey through life...Her life is vivid with incident, and yet she feels a sense of powerlessness. She listens, she observes, and through sheer force of imagination she becomes a witness of her own life: her birth, her death, and the troubling misconnections she discovers between. Daisy's struggle to find a place for herself in her own life is a paradigm of the unsettled decades of our era."

5 of 22. 1996 - Independence Day by Richard Ford

"Frank Bascombe is no longer a sportswriter, yet he's still living in Haddam, New Jersey, where he now sells real estate...In the midst of his so-called Existence Period, Frank is happy enough in his peculiar way, more or less sheltered from fresh pain and searing regret."

"A visionary account of American life —and the long-awaited sequel to one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade — 'Independence Day' reveals a man and our country with unflinching comedy and the specter of hope and even permanence, all of which Richard Ford evokes with keen intelligence, perfect emotional pitch and a voice invested with absolute authority."