The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced today and there were three winners when it came to books. Whenever books win, it always leads to an influx of sales, so for the authors and publishers, this is a very huge deal.
The prize for fiction went to the The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead , which the judges called 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.” The other finalists in the category were The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, and The Topeka School by Ben Lerner.
There were two winners in general nonfiction. The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin. The judges called Myth “a sweeping and beautifully written book that probes the American myth of boundless expansion and provides a compelling context for thinking about the current political moment.” The second book was The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer, which the judges called “an elegant and unforgettable narrative about the brutality of illness and the capitalism of cancer care in America.”
This year’s winner in biography is Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser, which the judges called “an authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities, and volatile enthusiasms.” The other finalists in the category were Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, by George Packer and Parisian Lives.
The history winner is Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America by W. Caleb McDaniel, which the judges called “a masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor.