Donna Tartt has won The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for her highly acclaimed novel The Goldfinch, beating out Philipp Meyer’s epic, and epically praised The Son and The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis. Released in October 2013 — 11 years after her hailed sophomore novel The Little Friend and 22 years after her bestselling debut The Secret History — The Goldfinch was hotly anticipated and immediately rocketed to multiple “Best of 2013” lists, landing on several long and shortlists. Last month, The Goldfinch was edged out by Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and will go up against Americanah again in June as both books have been shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction.
Dan Fagin’s Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation took the Non-Fiction Prize, edging out nominees The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger and a Forgotten Genocide by Gary J. Bass andThe Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War by Fred Kaplan.
Playwright Annie Baker earned the Pulitzer in Drama for her three-hour play The Flick.
On the Journalism front, the winners list acts as a searing reminder of the stubborn impasse between civil liberties and national security, as well as the challenges Americans continue to face in the wake of the contracting economy and terrorist threats.
The Pulitzer jury awarded The Washington Post and The Guardian US for Public Service, specifically citing these publications’ “revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.” The garland is being seen as a win for Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee living as a political refugee in Russia for leaking documents to the press exposing the United States’ global surveillance program. Snowden called the Pulitzer “a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government.”
The Boston Globe Staff was honored for its Breaking News reportage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt that ultimately revealed brothers Tamerlan and Dzokhar Tsarnaev as the culprits. The Explanatory Reporting award went to the Washington Post’s Eli Saslow “for his unsettling and nuanced reporting on the prevalence of food stamps in post-recession America, forcing readers to grapple with issues of poverty and dependency.”