This Month, Read a Prizewinner

The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes have been announced.

The Oakland Public Library congratulates the staff of the East Bay Times for the Pulitzer Prize they won this week in the Breaking News category for their "relentless coverage of the 'Ghost Ship' fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party, and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it." 

Did you know that 2017 is the centennial year for the Pulitzer Prizes and the 101st awarding of prizes? In 1917 just four awards were given, for reporting, editorial writing, history, and biography/autobiography. Over the decades the Pulitzer's categories have expanded to include fiction, drama, poetry, editorial cartooning and feature photography, among other categories. You can see the complete list, past and present, here

The Pulitzer winner in fiction winner this year is Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. This must-read, widely-praised novel also won the National Book Award. The library has copies in print, audiobook, ebook, and eaudio formats for you as well as a healthy backstock of Whitehead's earlier books.

Do you read plays? This year's prize in drama went to Lynn Nottage's Sweat. Sweat had its debut in 2015 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is currently in production on Broadway. Not yet published, a print edition of the play will be out next month. We will be adding it to our collection once it becomes available. In the meantime you can read up on her other plays, Intimate Apparel, or Crumbs From the Table of Joy, for instance, or her 2009 Pulitzer winner Ruined

How about poetry? Try Olio by Tyehimba Jess or his other collection, Leadbelly.

This year's winner in Music is Angel's Bone, an opera by Du Yun.  In this case we can't direct you to something to read but we can show you an excerpt from this musical allegory on human trafficking, here. Also worthy of note is that this year, for the first time ever, all three Pulitzer finalists in music were women. 

If you read history, try Blood in the Water: the Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson. If biographies and memoirs are more to your taste, the Pulitzer was awarded this year to The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar, recounting the author's return to Libya in 2012 after an absence of thirty years. For readers of timely general non-fiction, the winner is Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

There it is: something noteworthy for every taste. You can follow up on the reporting prizes, and read the award-winning stories, by following the links on the Pulitzer Prize pages. 

Looking for your next great read? Try our service for readers, Book Me! Fill out an online form and a librarian will send you a personalized list of reading suggestions.


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