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Home | Most Recognized Novel List | Top 3 Stand Out Novels | Sources

An objective analysis resulting in a list of the most recognized novels published in the English language from 1918 - 1990, a starting-point for readers to approach a well-read status.

Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Prize 1

In 1912, one year after Pulitzer's death aboard his yacht, the Columbia School of Journalism was
founded, and the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917 under the supervision of the advisory board to which he had entrusted his mandate. Pulitzer envisioned an advisory board composed principally of newspaper publishers. Others would include the president of Columbia University and scholars, and "persons of distinction who are not journalists or editors." Today, the 19-member board is composed mainly of leading editors or news executives. Four academics also serve, including the president of Columbia University and the dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. The dean and the administrator of the prizes are non-voting members. The chair rotates annually to the most senior member. The board is self-perpetuating in the election of members. Voting members may serve three terms of three years. In the selection of the members of the board and of the juries, close attention is given to professional excellence and affiliation, as well as diversity in terms of gender, ethnic background, geographical distribution and size of newspaper.

Administration 2
The final act of the annual competition is enacted in early April when the board assembles for two days in the Pulitzer World Room of the Columbia School of Journalism. In prior weeks, the board had

read the texts of the 15 nominated books. By custom, it is incumbent on board members not to vote on any award under consideration unless they have reviewed the entries.

There are subcommittees for books whose members usually lead the discussions. The board, in turn, reviews the nominations of each jury. Each jury is required to offer three nominations but in no order of preference, although the jury chair in a report accompanying the submission can broadly reflect the views of the members. Board discussions are animated and often hotly debated.

Awards are made by majority vote, but the board is also empowered to vote 'no award,' or by threefourths vote to select an entry that has not been nominated or to switch nominations among the categories. If the board is dissatisfied with the nominations of any jury, it can ask the Administrator to consult with the chair by telephone to ascertain if there are other worthy entries. Meanwhile, the deliberations continue.


Presentation 2

Both the jury nominations and the awards voted by the board are held in strict confidence until the announcement of the prizes, which takes place several days after the meeting in the World Room. Towards three o'clock p.m. (Eastern Time) of the day of the announcement, in hundreds of newsrooms across the United States, journalists gather to wait for the bulletins that bring explosions of joy and celebrations to some and disappointment to others. The announcement is made precisely at three o'clock at a news conference held by the administrator in the World Room.

Apart from accounts carried prominently by newspapers, television, radio, and Internet sites, the details appear on the Pulitzer Web site. The announcement includes the name of the winner as well as the names of the other two finalists. The three finalists are the only entries in the competition that are recognized by the Pulitzer office as nominees. The announcement also lists the board members and the names of the jurors (which have previously been kept confidential to avoid lobbying.)

For most recipients of the Pulitzer Prizes, the cash award is only incidental to the prestige accruing to them and their works. There are numerous competitions that bestow far larger cash awards, yet which do not rank in public perception on a level with the Pulitzers. The Pulitzer accolade on the cover of a book usually does translate into commercial gain. Unlike the elaborate ceremonies and royal banquets attendant upon the presentation of the Nobel Prizes in Stockholm and Oslo, since 1984 Pulitzer winners have received their prizes from the president of Columbia University at a modest but mellow luncheon in May in the rotunda of the Low Library in the presence of family members, professional associates, board members, and the faculty of the School of Journalism. The board has declined offers to transform the occasion into a television extravaganza.

Pulitzer Prizes 3 4

The Novel category was re-named Fiction in 1947. Below are the Pultizer Prizes awarded from 1918 - 1990 that were considered in the Myjak Novel Analysis:

Year Novel and Author
1918 His Family by Ernest Poole
1919 The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1920 (No Award)
1921 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1922 Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1923 One of Ours by Willa Cather
1924 The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1925 So Big by Edna Ferber
1926 Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1927 Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1928 The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1929 Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1930 Laughing Boy by Oliver Lafarge
1931 Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932 The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1933 The Store by T. S. Stribling
1934 Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1935 Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
1936 Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1937 Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1938 The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
1939 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1941 (No Award)
1942 In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1943 Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
1944 Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1945 A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1946 No Award
1947 All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
1948 Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
1949 Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
1950 The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
1951 The Town by Conrad Richter
1952 The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
1954 (No Award)
1955 A Fable by William Faulkner
1956 Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1957 (No Award)
1958 A Death In The Family by the late James Agee (a posthumous publication)
1959 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
1960 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
1961 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
1962 The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor
1963 The Reivers by William Faulkner
1964 (No Award)
1965 The Keepers Of The House by Shirley Ann Grau
1966 Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter
1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
1968 The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
1969 House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
1970 Collected Stories by Jean Stafford
1971 (No Award)
1972 Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1973 The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
1974 (No Award)
1975 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1976 Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
1977 (No Award)
1978 Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
1979 The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
1980 The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces by the late John Kennedy Toole (a posthumous publication)
1982 Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike, the latest novel in a memorable sequence
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker
1984 Ironweed by William Kennedy
1985 Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
1987 A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison
1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
1990 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

 

The following are the sources of the information presented above:

1 The Pulitzer Prizes. Pulitzer Biography.
(2008) : Internet.
http://www.pulitzer.org/biography

2 The Pulitzer Prizes. Administration
(2009) : Internet.
http://www.pulitzer.org/administration

3 The Pulitzer Prizes. Novel
(2009) : Internet.
http://www.pulitzer.org/bycat/Novel

4 The Pulitzer Prizes. Fiction
(2009) : Internet.
http://www.pulitzer.org/bycat/Fiction