The Pulitzer Prizes were announced today, and my Pulitzer Prediction did not even come close.
I did mention the Pulitzer for Fiction winner in my Pulitzer Prediction post, but it was in the section that listed books that were not about American Life.
Since my prediction was based on what I believe to be Joseph Pulitzer’s original vision for the award, the winner this year was not in my consideration.
I put this book on hold at the library more than a month ago. There was a lot of demand for this book but it was finally available for me to pick up on Saturday. I started reading it while eating lunch on Saturday and was about half-way through it when the announcement was made today. I have now finished the book, but there was a several hour period where I had no longer read all the winners of the Pulitzer for Novel or Fiction.
I really did enjoy this novel. The novel had great character and plot development and the descriptions of the setting were very good. The author smoothly switched between story lines and also made good use of foreshadowing. The story lines slowly came together for a great climax to the story.
The setting of the novel was France and Germany during World War II. There was nothing about American life in the novel, but the author did a great job of showing us daily life during World War II in France and Germany.
Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford is a series of four short stories. The stories are all about Frank Bascombe who was the lead character in Ford’s trilogy of The Sportswriter, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land.
Richard Ford is a previous winner of the Pulitzer for Fiction with Independence Day.
The title of the work comes from one of the short stories, so I decided to read it first. I had also heard that this story stirred up controversy with Oates’ portrayal of Robert Frost during an interview with a young woman. There is also a very interesting line in the story where Frost tells the young woman interviewing him ‘you’ve never won a single Pulitzer Prize, let alone several Pulitzer prizes — and you never will.’
The other finalist is The Moors Account by Laila Lalami. I have this on request and of the three this is the one that I would really like to read. This novel is a Historical Fiction account of a 16th century expedition through Spanish America.
I am again disappointed that the Nominating Jury did not present a good selection of Novels about American Life to the Pulitzer Prize Board. I am also curious as to why there were three finalists. My thought is that the board rejected the three finalists nominated by the jury and instead gave the prize to All The Light We Cannot See.