Daily Archives: April 10, 2017

2017 Pulitzer

In recent years I have been trying to read books, that may possibly win the Pulitzer for Fiction, before the winner is announced in April.

I have been writing a prediction post based on my reading, but this year the awards snuck up on me and were announced earlier than when I thought they would be. They usually seem to come around the middle of the month.

So, I was surprised this morning when I checked to see when the Pulitzer winners would be announced. It was today!

The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead, Pulitzer Winner 2017, Pulitzer for FictionI did not have too long to wait to find out who the winners were. I was not surprised that the winner of the Pulitzer Prize was The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

This book is set just before the Civil War and of course is about slaves heading north to freedom. However, in this book we have an actual railroad, although it is a bit mystical.

Good character development and a good reminder of this period of history. However, it was a bit out there with the mysticism.

Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett, Pulitzer Finalist, 2017 Pulitzer FinalistThere were two finalists named as well. I am glad that this year there were three strong choices for the panel to pick from.

Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett is about a family dealing with the effects of depression that the father goes through. The setting is both in the US and England and the story is told from different viewpoints of the different family members.

It was not my favorite of the books I read, but is about an important subject in American Life.

The Sport of Kings, C. E. Morgan, Historical Fiction, Pulitzer Finalist 2017The other finalist was The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan.

I was expecting something a bit different from this novel. Instead of a history of raising race horses I instead ended up getting a story of class and race struggles.

I was disappointed with the ending of the story and also with the plot development. However, it did cover some very  important issues from American Life which is what a Pulitzer Finalist should be about.

Behold the Dreamers, Imbolo Mbue, Pulitzer Hopeful, ImmigrationI did post a prediction this morning in the Tackling the Pulitzer Prize Winners! group on Goodreads.  My prediction was Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. This book is about a couple from Cameroon who are trying to immigrate to America. I really enjoyed this book and also thought that with immigration issues being a big part of current American Life that it might be the choice.

I also listed the three books that I would give to the Pulitzer board as finalists.

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi, Pulitzer Hopefull, 2017Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is a great work of historical fiction that follows the lives of two half-sisters and their descendants from the time they were born in Ghana in the 18th century to the present. One is sold into slavery and the other is married to an Englishman in Ghana. The book looks at the similarities and differences of living in American and in Africa during this time period.

I believe that this would have been a much better choice for the Pulitzer winner.

The Unseen World, Liz Moore, Pulitzer 2017 HopefullI really enjoyed reading The Unseen World by Liz Moore. This was definitely a book about American Life and also covered current issues like education.

The story is about a young girl named Ada who is home (lab) schooled by her father who is a brilliant computer scientist. Her life starts falling apart as her father starts to suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Then begins a mystery that she must uncover about her father’s past. She is helped along the way by a computer program that was developed by the lab her father directed.

My third finalist would have been News of the World by Paulette Jiles.

Paulette Jiles, News of the World, Texas, Historical FictionThe story is about a traveling news reader in post Civil War Texas. He is tasked with returning to home a young girl who had been a captive of the Kiowa Indians. The two make their way across Texas and build a bond as they battle through difficult situations.

At the end a difficult choice must be made as to her welfare. A riveting read and a book that I definitely recommend to anyone who likes Historical Fiction.

There were quite a few other books that I also read, and if I was writing a prediction post I may have given the reasons why I ruled some of them out.

I can still say that I have read all the Pulitzer winners for Novel and Fiction. No gap this year 🙂

Have you read the Pulitzer winner?

Steven