Pulitzer Prize in Fiction juror Michael Chabon – Three Books You Should Read

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As a juror for the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. I read tons of novels & story collections (well, 100s of lbs of them, anyway). Beyond the winner and 2 runners-up, I want to shine a light on three excellent books, among the many nominees I deeply dug, by less well-known, less heralded writers. I’m doing this as a 4-part thread, in alphabetical order by author, so in case they get separated, please find and investigate all 3, each is terrific.

*The Ice Harp*, Norman Lock. A poignant, fascinating, thoroughly convincing, stream-of-consciousness novel about Ralph Waldo Emerson. Part of the author’s ongoing, fascinating “American Novels” sequence.

*After World*, Debbie Urbanski. A vividly imagined, quietly devastating tour-de-force of pre-, intra-, and—sneakily, thrillingly—post-apocalypse.

*Dearborn,* Ghassan Zeinnedine. Sly, straight-faced, tenderly wicked humor covers and uncovers histories of pain and loss among the precarious, proud, and fate-buffeted Arab-Americans of the titular Michigan city. A classic American short story collection, drawing back the curtain on a “hidden” subculture and community living in plain sight.

Michael Chabon on Threads

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The 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Since its founding in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize has recognized excellence in journalism, arts, and literature. The Pulitzer Prize winners for 2023 have been announced, and they represent some of the best and brightest in their respective fields.

Among the winners are journalists who exposed corruption and abuse of power, authors who wrote moving and thought-provoking works of fiction and non-fiction, and musicians who created groundbreaking new compositions. The Pulitzer Prize continues to symbolize the highest achievement in these fields, and the winners serve as inspirations to us all.

You can see the winners in all categories, including 15 Journalism categories, on the Pulitzer website. You can also watch the ceremony in full on YouTube below.

Books

Here are the 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners in the Books categories.

Fiction

Demon Copperhead,” by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)

Trust,” by Hernan Diaz (Riverhead Books)

Finalist:

The Immortal King Rao,” by Vauhini Vara (W. W. Norton & Company)

History

Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power,” by Jefferson Cowie (Basic Books)

Finalists:

Seeing Red: Indigenous Land, American Expansion, and the Political Economy of Plunder in North America,” by Michael John Witgen (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture/University of North Carolina Press)

Watergate: A New History,” by Garrett M. Graff (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)

Biography

G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century,” by Beverly Gage (Viking)

Finalists:

His Name is George Floyd,” by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (Viking)

Mr. B: George Balanchine’s 20th Century,” by Jennifer Homans (Random House)

Memoir or Autobiography

Stay True,” by Hua Hsu (Doubleday)

Finalists:

Easy Beauty: A Memoir,” by Chloé Cooper Jones (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)

The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir,” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (Doubleday)

Poetry

Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020,” by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)

Finalists:

Blood Snow,” by dg nanouk okpik (Wave Books)

Still Life,” by the late Jay Hopler (McSweeney’s)

General Nonfiction

His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice,” by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (Viking)

Finalists:

Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern,” by Jing Tsu (Riverhead Books)

Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction,” by David George Haskell (Viking)

Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation,” by Linda Villarosa (Doubleday)