BooksApril 19, 2016

Books: The Winners of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize


Steve Braunias recommends the best of  the 2016 Pulitzers.

The 2016 Pulitzer Prizes – recognising the best journalism in America, and nominating some of the best books in the the world – were announced earlier today. You ought to have a read of some of these things. They are, as judges didn’t say, fucking fantastic.

Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting: Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay News and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Okay well if you survive the harrowing first few beautifully rendered pages, then well done; the actual story is first-class. But yeah. Talk about an intro. Garish, tabloid, creative, devastating.


Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing: Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker

Everyone says that the San Andreas is the biggest bad-ass earthquake risk in America. Why, even The Rock agreed, and starred in a pretty awesome movie based on that premise. Schulz goes elsewhere, to another range, in a typically lucid and readable yarn from The New Yorker.

Onto books. Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction: Joby Warrick for Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS

There’s a brisk review at the LA Times which should be enough to persuade you this is the one book on Isis you want to read right now.

Pulitzer Prize for Biography: William Finnegan for Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Surfing! This book sounds totally great, and makes you think: yeah how come surfing is so badly served by literature? This remedies the situation. Good review in the New York Times.


Pulitzer Prize for History: T.J. Stiles for Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

Hm, yes, sounds good and proper – but the classic book on Custer is surely Son of the Morning Star, by Evan S Connell. That’s just a complete masterpiece, and one of the greatest ever books about early American life.

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Viet Thanh Nguyen for The Sympathizer

 “A hot and sprawling story,” claims the Guardian, in this review.

It kind of sounds like shorthand for: “Unreadable junk.”

Keep going!