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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pulitzer Predicament

The Pulitzer Prize for fiction is my all-time favorite literary prize, and past winners invariably wind up on my to-read and re-read lists. The only small thing that irks me is the lack of a shortlist before the prize is announced. Christy, a fellow bookseller, feels about the Booker Prize the way I feel about the Pulitzer, and this year I will admit to a little jealousy as she bounded around the store on the day the Booker shortlist was announced. On one hand the Pulitzer race is always exciting and filled with speculation, but on the other, there seems to be no way to prepare. I want to be able to read all the contenders in order to make an informed decision in the same way that people watch all the Best Picture nominees before Oscar night.

Well, this year, I may have an answer to my problem. For the past two years, Pulitzer Prize First Edition Guide has made a prediction list, and the 2008 and 2009 winners and finalists have been on those lists. This year they are producing two lists; one, which was released in late January, and a more concise list to be released in March as the prize draws nearer. Here are their current predictions below:

My Father's Tears: And Other Stories, by John Updike
Lark and Termite, by Jayne Anne Phillips
Homer and Langley, by E.L. Doctorow
The Humbling, by Philip Roth
The Maples Stories, by John Updike
American Salvage, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann
In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, by Daniyal Mueenuddin
The Red Convertible, by Louise Erdrich
Chronic City, by Jonathan Lethem
A Good Fall, by Ha Jin
Dear Husband, by Joyce Carol Oates
Little Bird of Heaven, by Joyce Carol Oates
Spooner, by Pete Dexter
The Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver
Generosity: An Enhancement, by Richard Powers

And click here for more on how their predictions are made.

I myself am going to jump into American Salvage and In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. I can't wait!

Posted by Erin

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