I like lists. And I like to finish things. If I can check something off a list when I finish it, so much the better! And better still: finishing a list. But this week, I decided there’s one list I’m no longer interested in finishing: winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Way back in 2007, I started a long-term project to read all of the Pulitzer winners. I’m tracking my progress, and have read 28 of the 82 (correction: 84) winners, including all from the past decade. But in 2010, I’ve only read 2: Gilead (2005), and Tinkers (2010). Even though I was hoping to read 6 Pulitzer winners this year, nothing on the list is grabbing me.
This is very strange, because I’ve enjoyed all the winners I’ve read. Five are on my list of all-time favorites (links will take you to reviews, all at my previous blog address):
- Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
- A Death in the Family, by James Agee
- Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
- To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
- The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
My literary prize reading has been more focused on the Booker and Orange Prizes, and I’m thinking about starting long-term projects for other prizes like the Giller Prize (Canadian), the Miles Franklin Prize (Australian), and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (British).
But should I give up on the Pulitzer? What am I missing? I’m open to your recommendations!
Read more from The Sunday Salon here.