Announcing the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners

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Vanessa Diaz

Managing Editor

Book Riot Managing Editor Vanessa Diaz is a writer and former bookseller from San Diego, CA whose Spanish is even faster than her English. When not reading or writing, she enjoys dreaming up travel itineraries and drinking entirely too much tea. She is a regular co-host on the All the Books podcast who especially loves mysteries, gothic lit, mythology/folklore, and all things witchy. Vanessa can be found on Instagram at @BuenosDiazSD or taking pictures of pretty trees in Portland, OR, where she now resides.

The 2020 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday via YouTube livestream by Pulitzer Prize Administrator Dana Canedy. Normally held at Columbia University in New York City, the delayed announcement was made online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s fiction prize went to Colson Whitehead for The Nickel Boys, a harrowing exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow–era Florida. This win makes him one of only four novelists (Booth Tarkington in 1919 and 1922; William Faulkner in 1955 and 1963; John Updike in 1982 and 1991) to win the Pulitzer twice. His novel The Underground Railroad won the award in 2017.

Below is a list of winners in fiction, biography, poetry, and general nonfiction. A full list of winners in all categories can be found here.

Fiction: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Biography: Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser

Poetry: The Tradition by Jericho Brown

General nonfiction: The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care by Anne Boyer and The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin

Additional reading on the Pulitzer Prize:

Announcing the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Get to Know 5 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Critics