Announcing the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winners

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

The winners of the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, and while none of them probably have an actual line about how to pronounce “Pulitzer” like last year’s winner for fiction, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, they are a fantastic bunch!

You can see all the winners and finalists below, with descriptions provided by the Pulitzer site. (Because I have not read any of them. Which is so surprising to me! I will be correcting that soon.)

Oh, and it’s “pull-it-sir.”


the overstory richard powersThe Overstory by Richard Powers

An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.

(Finalists: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, There There by Tommy Orange.)




cover-of-frederick-douglassFrederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.

(Finalists: American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson, Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition by W. Fitzhugh Brundage)


The-New-Negro-by-Jeffrey-StewartThe New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

A panoramic view of the personal trials and artistic triumphs of the father of the Harlem Renaissance and the movement he inspired.

(Finalist: Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin-de-Siècle Paris by Caroline Weber, The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam by Max Boot)


jackie sibblies druryFairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury

A hard-hitting drama that examines race in a highly conceptual, layered structure, ultimately bringing audiences into the actors’ community to face deep-seated prejudices.

(Finalists: Dance Nation by Clare Barron, What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck)



be withBe With by Forrest Gander

A collection of elegies that grapple with sudden loss, and the difficulties of expressing grief and yearning for the departed.

(Finalists: feeld by Jos Charles, Like by A. E. Stallings)



General Nonfiction:

amity and prosperityAmity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold

A classic American story, grippingly told, of an Appalachian family struggling to retain its middle class status in the shadow of destruction wreaked by corporate fracking.

(Finalists: In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers  by Bernice Yeung, Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush)