Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2017

11 Apr 2017

The Pulitzer Prize was established in 1917 to honor the best in fiction, journalism, arts and letters in the United States. The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2017 have just been announced and include Colson Whitehead, Hisham Matar, Tyehimba Jess, Matthew Desmond and Heather Ann Thompson. See the books that won below!

Pulitzer Prize Winners for 2017

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

Prize Category: Fiction

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

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The Return

Hisham Matar

Prize Category: Biography or Autobiography

Hisham Matar’s father was kidnapped when was a nineteen year old university student in England. As one of the Qaddafi regime’s most prominent opponents, he was held in a secret prison in Libya. After the fall of Qaddfi, twenty-two years later, the prison cells are empty and there is no sign of Jaballa Matar. Hisham returns with his mother and wife to the homeland he never thought he’d go back to again. This is the story of what he found there.

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Tyehimba Jess

Prize Category: Poetry

Tyehimba Jess’ highly anticipated second book (and first book of poetry) is part fact and part fiction. Weaving sonnet, song, and narrative, it examines the lives of unrecroded African American performers before and after the Civil War leading up to World War 1. This book is an effort to understand how they met, resisted, complicated, co-opted and sometimes defeated attempts to minstrelize them.

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Matthew Desmond

Prize Category: General Non-Fiction

Harvard Sociologist, Matthew Desmond explores one of the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the stories of eight familes living in poverty. Even in the poorest areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, many renting familes are spending more than half their income on housing, and eviction has become a part of life for some people. Desmond dives into this urgent issue facing America today.

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Blood in the Water

Heather Ann Thompson

Prize Category: History

Historian Heather Ann Thompson draws from more than a decade of extensive research to create the first definitive history of the infamous 1971 Attica prison uprising. This tells the story of all those who took part in the 45 year fight for justice including prisoners, former hostages, families of the victoms, lawyers and judges, state officials, and members of law enforcement.

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