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Pulitzer Prize 2020 Winners



Colson Whitehead has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel The Nickel Boys. The award is given to “distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life” and comes with a $15,000 (£12,000) cash prize.

Through the experience of Elwood Curtis, an African American unjustly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory on dubious evidence, The Nickel Boys tells a story of systematic abuse and racism in the United States. The novel is inspired by the horrific true events that took place at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. Dana Canedy, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, called the novel “a spare and devastating exploration of abuse at a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida that is ultimately a powerful tale of human perseverance, dignity and redemption.”

The Pulitzer Prize is the latest accolade the New York Times bestselling novel has earned since hitting shelves last July. Winner of the Kirkus Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, the novel was also longlisted for the National Book Award, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, the Carnegie Medal, and was named one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best Fiction Books of the Decade.

Whitehead, recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” (2002) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013), previously won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad. He is the fourth writer to win multiple Pulitzer Prizes in fiction, joining Booth Tarkington (1919, 1922), William Faulkner (1955, 1963), and John Updike (1982, 1991).

The other finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction include Ben Lerner, for his novel The Topeka School and Ann Patchett, for her novel The Dutch House.

Other notable winners include: for poetry: The Tradition by Jericho Brown; for general nonfiction: The Undying by Anne Boyer and The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America by Greg Grandin; and for biography: Songtag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser.

A complete list of winners can be found on the Pulitzer website.

If considering purchasing any of these worthy winners to see out the rest of quarantine the Anarchist Milk Collective recommends you support your local independent bookstore!


- Elvis Sokoli

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