And the winner is– no one. Fiction writers these days are used to being dissed– but when fellow writers join the chorus of rasberries, it hurts. At a dire time for serious fiction, the Pulitzer Prize board allowed an epic fail.
No one benefits from the inexplicable inability of the Pulitzer Prize judging board to find one worthy title among hundreds. If the three ‘finalist’ titles offered– all by brilliant writers, including Denis Johnson, overdue for this honor– did not please this board, couldn’t they request more titles?
From a report in Salon, it sounds like the committee did have the rarely exercised ‘option’ to bestow the prize on their own title. If not, who would have cared if they bent their silly rules?
A lot of writers do care, BTW, that they didn’t care to try. So much has now been wasted. $10,000 and a career-altering honor and a rare chance for a serious book of fiction to claim some sliver of the national spotlight.
Yes, I was one of the writers lucky enough to have a novel published this year. No, I didn’t dream the Flying Fickle Finger of Fate— an old Laugh-In gag that always comes to my mind regarding prizes– might point my way. Though like many indie-press writers, I’d taken heart from the great successes of books like BINOCULAR VISION by Edith Pearlman, a splendid story collection containing the wisdom of a lifetime, which would have done the Pulitzer proud.
Everyone’s list of ‘obvious suspects’ from this year would be different, but mine would include (including some friends) THE LEFTOVERS by Tom Perrotta, THE MARRIAGE PLOT by Jeffery Eugenides, Don DeLillo’s story collection, FAITH by Jennifer Haigh, GOD BLESS AMERICA by Steve Almond. The Pulitzer ‘gods’ decided to bless no one this year, to their own disgrace.
“And I’d like to thank– no one.” Rasberries all round.
(images: discardedlies.com, orthocuban.com. StMartins.com, all via Googleimages)
**On a more upbeat prize note, follow this link and vote for DES activist/author Caitlin McCarthy, nominated again for prestigious President’s Citizens’ medal…