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Old 07-17-2012, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,025 posts, read 14,018,808 times
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Hopefully no one is is eagerly awaiting the 2012 winner of the Pulitzer Fiction Prize because it wasn't award this year. Three books were finalists but none were deemed good enough for the prize it seems like. The New Yorker posted an article from the Pulitzer jury to try to explain what happened this year:

Letter from the Pulitzer Fiction Jury: What Really Happened This Year : The New Yorker
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Old 07-17-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,689,976 times
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Wow! How very odd.
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Old 07-17-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Wow indeed. Now I have 3 more books on my to-read list.

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Old 07-17-2012, 07:30 PM
 
2,939 posts, read 4,841,243 times
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Very strange. And there's really not much to say. Just strange.

I did like the linked article, though, written by Michael Cunningham about himself and two other writers as Pulitzer jurors. Here's how he describes their predilections:
Quote:
Maureen was drawn to writers who told a gripping and forceful story. She did not by any means require a conventional story, conventionally told, but she wanted something to have happened by the time she reached the end, some sea change to have occurred, some new narrative continent discovered, or some ancient narrative civilization destroyed...<snip>

Susan was a tough-minded romantic. She wanted to fall in love with a book. She always had reasons for her devotions, as an astute reader would, but she was, to her credit, probably the most emotional one among us. Susan could fall in love with a book in more or less the way one falls in love with a person. Yes, you can provide, if asked, a list of your loved one’s lovable qualities: he’s kind and funny and smart and generous and he knows the names of trees...<snip>

I was the language crank, the one who swooned over sentences. I could forgive much in a book if it was written with force and beauty, if its story was told in a voice unlike anything I’d heard before, if the writer was finding new and mesmerizing ways to employ the same words that have been available to all American writers for hundreds of years...<snip>
I have to admit I side most with Michael. For a prize of this stature I'd demand the book be a masterpiece in form and structure. Every sentence should be carefully wrought. He won for his book The Hours and I can't argue with it. It's gorgeously constructed. I guess the craft appeals to me most.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunjee View Post
Very strange. And there's really not much to say. Just strange.

I did like the linked article, though, written by Michael Cunningham about himself and two other writers as Pulitzer jurors. Here's how he describes their predilections:

I have to admit I side most with Michael. For a prize of this stature I'd demand the book be a masterpiece in form and structure. Every sentence should be carefully wrought. He won for his book The Hours and I can't argue with it. It's gorgeously constructed. I guess the craft appeals to me most.
I t is an interesting look at the process. I can't believe that they have to read three HUNDRED books! I couldn't read three hundred books in such a short time frame and still keep them separate in my mind in order to judge them on their own merits for such a prestigious award.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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I find it astonishing that, out of 300 new books, the Pulitzer committee couldn't find one in the three finalists. If the committee couldn't agree with any of the 3, I wonder why they didn't go back to their selection group and ask for some more contenders.

I don't know how many of the candidates I've read, but I have read some really good new books this year, and I'm sure at least one of them was in that big bunch of 300.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:31 PM
 
3,943 posts, read 5,774,529 times
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Me and you both banjomike. This is ridiculous! The Pulitzer books are usually my favorites, and I love poring over the titles and authors to pick out my next one to read.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:49 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
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Eevee, thanks for putting up this thread. I didn't know there was no Pulitzer this year.

I read Swamplandia some months ago and liked it quite a bit, it certainly was inventive--but I don't know that it deserved the Pulitzer, especially having read Bunjee's snippet of the jurors' criteria from the linked article.
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