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Thread: Pulitzer Prizes

  1. #1

    Award Pulitzer Prizes

    A debut novel published by a tiny independent not-for-profit press has won the Pulitzer prize for fiction.
    Pulitzer prize goes to 'little book from a little publisher' | Books | guardian.co.uk

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    from the link:

    Tinkers follows the last days of a man dying from cancer and kidney failure. Lying in his room, he sees the walls around him begin to collapse and the clouds and sky plummet down on top of him as he hallucinates, until he is released from the "constraints of time and memory" to rejoin his father, an impoverished pedlar in the backwoods of Maine.
    Well, it's hard to tell much from this kind of summary, but it sounds interesting.

    Has anyone read it?

    (BTW, I wonder if Bubba hates hallucinations in novels as much as he hates dreams?)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    The first paragraph:

    George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died. From the rented hospital bed, place in the middle of his own living room, he saw insects running in and out of imaginary cracks in the ceiling plaster. The panes in the windows, once snugly pointed and glazed, stood loose in their sashes. The next stiff breeze would topple them all and they would flop onto the heads of his family, who sat on the couch and the love seat and the kitchen chairs his wife had brought in to accommodate everyone. The torrent of panes would drive everyone from the room, his grandchildren in from Kansas and Atlanta and Seattle, his sister in from Florida, and he would be marooned on his bed in a moat of shattered glass. Pollen and sparrows, rain and the intrepid squirrels he spent half of his life keeping out of the bird feeders would breach the house.
    "Flop" is an odd way of describing falling panes of glass, but otherwise, I like it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    This is the longer quote:

    Extract from Tinkers by Paul Harding

    If somebody adds a little we will get the whole novel.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    I'm listening to the audio and I'm enjoying it a lot.

    The richness and depth of his narrative reminds me of Cormac McCarthy while there's a little of Roth about his descriptions of the trade of the horologist.

    Half-way through, I'm impressed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Sheehan View Post
    I'm listening to the audio and I'm enjoying it a lot.

    The richness and depth of his narrative reminds me of Cormac McCarthy while there's a little of Roth about his descriptions of the trade of the horologist.

    Half-way through, I'm impressed.
    Richard Sheehan, it will be interesting to know your thoughts after your listening the novel. Maybe it is worth its own thread.
    Last edited by learna; 23-Apr-2010 at 10:40.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    Haven't read the book or even heard of Paul Harding but I love the idea of a small press book winning such a prestigious prize. At a time when media hype seems to dictate what we are supposed to like and dislike, it's nice to see that the little guy can still make a loud noise now and then if he has got something worthwhile to say...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pulitzer Prize 2010

    Yes, the fact is interesting on its own and if the novel is equal the readers' hopes it is an ideal prize .

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    Award Pulitzer Prizes

    http://www.pulitzer.org/node/8501

    2011 Pulitzer Winners and Finalists will be announced April 18.

    Last year's winner, Tinkers by Paul Harding, was a letdown. Started off well, and had a beautiful style like Marilynne Robinson's, but soon I realized it was unfinished and limited. Hopefully something better this year...

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by miobrien View Post

    Last year's winner, Tinkers by Paul Harding, was a letdown.
    such a crap book. let's indeed hope for something better.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Any thoughts on who should take the prize? This one consistently lets me down. Since 1990 Ive read exactly one Pulitzer winner, which was The Road. Ive thought about reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but Im never able to talk myself into actually buying it. I dont have a real tangible reason, but a gut feeling tells me I wont like Chabon's work.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Franzen should get it for Freedom. He was snubbed at the National Book Awards and at the National Book Circle Awards, despite having received raving reviews from almost every critic in the country.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    I agree re Franzen. Egan has won more than her share of acclaim for Goon Squad, so I hope she doesnt take it.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by DB Cooper View Post
    This one consistently lets me down. Since 1990 Ive read exactly one Pulitzer winner, which was The Road.
    I'm not sure how you can say it's a letdown if you've only read one winning book in twenty-some years. I quite like the Pulitzer choices (often the shortlistees more so than the winner, but still...). I've read several winning choices (by no means all) and for the most part enjoyed what I read. Updike's 'Rabbit at Rest', Annie Proulx with 'The Shipping News', Richard Ford's 'Independence Day', Richard Russo's 'Empire Falls', to name just a few. Also, I like that they don't overlook short stories: Robert Olen Butler's 'Good Scent from a Strange Mountain' and Jhumpa Lahiri's 'Interpreter of Maladies' were both very good.
    I haven't read Franzen's new one, but I'd prefer to see the Pulitzer going to someone who could actually do with the exposure (I feel the same way about the Nobel Prize). Franzen doesn't need it, except as a stoking of his ego. Everyone in the western world already knows about him and his book. Time to spread the joy a little, methinks. I'm not sure that it's been the greatest year for American fiction but I'm sure there must be some worthy selection out there who's been hovering under the radar.
    I haven't gotten round to reading Tinkers either (though it is part of the leaning tower of bedside books) so I can't comment on whether or not it was a deserved winner, but one thing that was good about last year's prize was the fact that a small press got some recognition. Small presses are the lifeblood of literary publishing the world over.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by DB Cooper View Post
    Any thoughts on who should take the prize? This one consistently lets me down. Since 1990 Ive read exactly one Pulitzer winner, which was The Road. Ive thought about reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but Im never able to talk myself into actually buying it. I dont have a real tangible reason, but a gut feeling tells me I wont like Chabon's work.

    You'll love it. Other Chabon books maybe not. You'll love this one. Cross my heart.

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by DB Cooper View Post
    I agree re Franzen. Egan has won more than her share of acclaim for Goon Squad, so I hope she doesnt take it.
    I'm currently reading both books and Egan's is vastly better than Franzen's. Egan's would actually deserve the prize (well, I don't know the others on the shortlist, so...).

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirabell View Post
    Cross my heart.
    You mean... you have one?

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    Default Re: Pulitzer Prizes 2011

    Well, 'A Visit From the Goon Squad' by Jennifer Egan takes this year's Pulitzer. No mention at all of Franzen's book. Maybe the Pulitzer people just haven't read Time Magazine lately (or watched Oprah). Or maybe they just know what they like.

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    Award Pulitzer prize for fiction 2011

    Jennifer Egan - A Visit from the Goon Squad

    I got The Keep because I remembered it being reviewed at the AV Club (really). Liked it, found it much more straightforward and fun (+ well crafted: another female writer who can build plausible male characters, the opposite being so rare) than you'd think considering the reviews/complaints I read afterwards. [damning with false praise] I felt it was the sort of book that Palahniuk would write if he had any actual talent.[/damning with false praise]

    Anyways, this one was already getting a shitload of praise, and is said to be quite experimental, or do they just mean "weird/edgy by the standards of the stuff that usually gets considered for middlebrow literary awards"?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pulitzer prize for fiction 2011

    Read it, really didn't find it to be "experimental". Each chapter focuses on a different character (in varying first, second, third person) at a different time; if you chose, you could read each chapter as it's own short story. So yeah, it's a little more "experimental" than most bestsellers (is it a bestseller?) I suppose, but each chapter's written straightforward enough. I'm sure the multi-narrator with nonlinear time's enough to throw a lot of readers, but any reviews calling the novel experimental I would have to question. Sidenote: I liked it.

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