The winners of 2017 Pulitzer Prize are in, spanning across a range of great journalism and creative writing. Showcasing the exemplary work of those who presented finesse of the word as well as transparency, knowledge and unapologetic persistence, the prize has been awarded to a handful of publications across America – and added interesting books to our reading lists, too.
In the Fiction category, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead has beaten Imagine Me Gone by Adam Hasslett and The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan. The novel tells the story of a young girl taking a desperate attempt to set herself free from slavery. It’s been noticed for the metaphors and details mixed skillfully to convey the main’s character journey through time and space.
The non-fiction prize has been scooped by Matthew Desmond for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City who examined the consequential status of mass evictions after the economic crash, fighting the notions that they were a cause of poverty rather than its outcome. He was shortlisted alongside In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker and The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery by Micki McElya.
For the winner in Biography or Autobiography category, the jury has selected The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar as a winning entry. His first-person investigation into Gaddafi regime that mourns the author’s father competed with In the Darkroom, a gender reassignment journey and daughter-father relationship picture by Susan Faludi and When Breath Becomes Air, a moving story of a neurosurgeon diagnosed by cancer, by Paul Kalanithi.
The Drama prize has been taken by Lynn Nottage’s Sweat. The Broadway play has gained the writer her second Pulitzer, beating A 24-Decade History of Popular Music by Taylor Mac and The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe to the title. The trophy in Music category has gone to Angel’s Bone by Du Yun, an opera that is a metaphor for human trafficking. Olio by Tyehimba Jess has been awarded for challenging “contemporary notions of race and identity”, competing Adrienne Rich’s poems collection and XX by Campbell McGrath in Poetry category.
Heather Ann Thompson’s narrative proved unrivalled in the History category – Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy has been shortlisted alongside Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It by Larrie D. Ferreiro and New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America by Wendy Warren.
Here’s the complete list of the winners in Journalism categories:
Public Service: New York Daily News and ProPublica for uncovering the abuse of eviction rules that affected poor minorities
Breaking News Reporting: East Bay Times for coverage of Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 people and revealing the city’s shortcomings in preventing it
Investigative Reporting: Eric Eyre for reporting the opioids abuse in West Virginia that caused the highest overdose death rates in the US
Explanatory Reporting: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald for Panama Papers reporting
Local Reporting: The Salt Lake Tribune Staff for revealing the castigatory treatment of sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University
National Reporting: David A. Fahrenthold for questioning Donald Trump’s charity generosity in a transparent manner in the lead-up to the elections
International Reporting: The New York Times for revealing Vladimir Putin’s tactics in eliminating political opponents
Feature Writing: C. J. Chivers for explaining a sensitive case of a soldier’s post-war trauma that resulted in violence
Commentary: Peggy Noonan for columnist work during the presidential campaign
Criticism: Hilton Als for stage reviews
Editorial Writing: Art Cullen for challenging the agricultural lobbies in Iowa
Editorial Cartooning: Jim Morin
Breaking News Photography: Daniel Berehulak
Feature Photography: E. Jason Wambsgans