Five Pulitzer Prize Winners To Read This Summer
If you're determined to to read something of the real literary weight this summer, be aware of the books - the 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners announced this May, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
In the Fiction category, the Pulitzer Prize is awarded to a distinguished book by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. This year it went to The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family, by Joshua Cohen. It is a mordant, linguistically deft historical novel about the ambiguities of the Jewish-American experience, presenting ideas and disputes as volatile as its tightly-wound plot.
The Drama category handed the 2022 Pulitzer Prize to Fat Ham, by James Ijames. Fat Ham is a funny, poignant play that deftly transposes "Hamlet" to a family barbecue in the American South to grapple with questions of identity, kinship, responsibility, and honesty.
Covered with Night, by Nicole Eustace was announced a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States, which represents the category of History. The book is a gripping account of Indigenous justice in early America, and how the aftermath of a settler’s murder of a Native American man led to the oldest continuously recognized treaty in the United States.
Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist's Memoir of the Jim Crow South, by the late Winfred Rembert as told to Erin I. Kelly won the Pulitzer Prize in the Biography category. It is a searing first-person illustrated account of an artist’s life during the 1950s and 1960s in an unreconstructed corner of the deep South–an account of abuse, endurance, imagination, and aesthetic transformation.
A distinguished and appropriately documented book of nonfiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category falls into the category of General Nonfiction. This year this status was handed to Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, by Andrea Elliott. The book gives an account of a girl who comes of age during New York City’s homeless crisis and portraits resilience amid institutional failure that successfully merges literary narrative with policy analysis.
Starting from 2023 the awards will introduce a new category for a distinguished memoir or autobiography by an American author.
See all 2022 Pulitzer Prize winners here.