I’ve read a few Pulitzer Prize winning books for fiction this year, and realizing that got me wondering: how many of the winners have I read?
I’ve pasted the list of all wining books below by year. The bolded ones are those I have read. It looks like I have read 34 of them.
I did not include the runners-up, although I noticed that Joyce Carol Oates, one of my favorite authors, has been a runner-up several times, but has never won. Given her prolixity, I’m surprised. I hope she wins at some point!
On my list to read soon are A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow.
Which ones have you read? And how many? Which ones should I read that I haven’t yet?
Here’s the list, stolen from Wikipedia.
1918: His Family by Ernest Poole
1919: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1920: no award given
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 (declined prize)
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 La Farge
1931: Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1933: The Store by Thomas Sigismund 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 given
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 given
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 given
1955: A Fable by William Faulkner
1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
1957: No award given
1958: A Death in the Family by James Agee (posthumous win)
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 (posthumous win)
1964: No award given
1965: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
1966: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter 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: The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
1971: No award given
1972: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
1973: The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
1974: No award given
1975: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
1976: Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow
1977: No award given—Roots by Alex Haley (special Pulitzer Prize)
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 John Kennedy Toole (posthumous win)
1982: Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
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
1991: Rabbit at Rest by John Updike
1992: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
1993: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
1994: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
1995: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
1996: Independence Day by Richard Ford
1997: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
1998: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
1999: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
2000: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
2002: Empire Falls by Richard Russo
2003: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
2004: The Known World by Edward P. Jones
2005: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
2006: March by Geraldine Brooks
2007: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
2008: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
2009: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
2010: Tinkers by Paul Harding
2011: A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
2012: No award given
2013: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson
2014: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
2015: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
2016: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
2017: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
2018: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Maybe I will work on this list after I wrap up he Newbery’s… I’ve only read 4 of these.. not many. Great post though! Makes for a great goal!☀️
Reading all of the Newberys is such a good idea! Maybe I need to do a post on that. 🙂
I started it a few weeks ago… I posted on it! 😁 you should! I’m really enjoying not only reading them but tracking them all down at used bookstores. It’s been a fun project!
I love the idea!
Thanks! It’s been fun learning about the authors and interesting facts about the award itself!
wow! now i feel like an illiterate old cuss!! sadly, i haven’t read all that many, &, no, i won’t tell you exactly how FEW i’ve read. i’ll put them on my list, after the 20 or so books i have on my bookshelf to read now…
Ha ha! The stack of books to read never ends, does it. Sorry to add to your pile!
I haven’t made an effort to read Pulitzer winners, but I guess I’ve read quite a few by accident: The Age of Innocence, So Big, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Gone with the Wind, The Yearling, A Bell for Adano, Tales of the South Pacific, The Way West, The Old Man and the Sea, Andersonville, Advise and Consent, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Edge of Sadness, The Fixer, The Confessions of Nat Turner, House Made of Dawn, Angle of Repose, The Optimist’s Daughter, The Killer Angels, The Executioner’s Song, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Color Purple, Lonesome Dove, Beloved, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, The Hours, Interpreter of Maladies, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Empire Falls, Middlesex, The Known World, Gilead, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Olive Kitteridge, Tinkers, A Visit from the Goon Squad, The Orphan Master’s Son, The Goldfinch, and All the Light We Cannot See. Wow!
Wow is right! You’ve read quite a few. 🙂
I love this post!!!!!!!! I need to create a list for this year and show on my blog! I am forever taking photos of books when I go out so I should have a lot to share! Haha! I like how you are very specific as I can’t remember a Pulitzer prized book I read! But I have read books like memoirs of a geisha, confessions of a shopaholic, shopaholic and baby, and the Governess of Highland Hall by Carrie Turansky is my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE!!!!!
I love the shopaholic series! I feel like its my guilty little reading secret. I’m glad to hear you feel the same!
I have only read 10 of them. But out of the ten I have read three several times 😊 Gone With the Wind, Lonesome Dove and Angel of Repose. They teach me something new each time.
If I had to reread three of them, these would be the three! I actually have read Angle of Repose three times. I love it!
I haven’t read as many as you but The Stone Diaries is very good. Carol Shields is one of my favorite authors.
That book has been sitting in my TBR pile forever! I think it’s time to move it up. Thanks for the recommendation.
To kill a Mockingbird is my fav!! I’ve also read The Color Purple from this list…
To Kill a Mockingbird is such a good one! I’m thinking about rereading it soon.
I’ve never read that? What is it like?
A trip to Wanneroo library is calling……
It is one of the most quintessential American novels, about law, racism, family, and childhood. I hope you get a chance to read it.
I”ve read 10 of these: The Grapes of Wrath, The Color Purple, Beloved, The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love, Interpreter of Maladies, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Middlesex, Olive Kitteridge, The Goldfinch, and The Underground Railroad. For reasons i cannot explain, I have owned a copy of The Known World since it was first published that I have yet to read!! Almost 15 years old! Don’t ask…..I think I need to set a firm goal😂
You need to read The Known World asap! 🙂 How was The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay? I’ve been eyeing that one.
Okay, thanks for the kick in the pants😊. I thoroughly enjoyed The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. It’s a big book but I remember being totally caught up in it.
I’ve only read 12, most in school growing up. I have another 5-10 already on my shelf/kindle. I feel like most awards this is given mostly for the person’s body of work and often times find the Pulitzer winner obsequiously opaque when compared to their other works.
Hmmm, interesting. I have never thought of it that way.
I have only read 18! There are so many titles here that I want to read! I need to get with it! Of those I have read I would say I agree that about half of them qualify as Pulitzer Prize winners!
Yeah, sometimes we don’t connect with the winners of awards. Remember First love? Ha ha!
I’ve read fifteen so far, with most of them chosen by me, so I enjoyed most. Notable exception: The Orphan Master’s Son, which was a depressing slog that I couldn’t finish. March seemed artificial and elementary, but that may be due to my love of Little Women. I’ve read other non-award works by some of the authors-Michener, Strout, Welty, Momaday, Styron… My favorite adult book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird, but modern winners such as Gilead, The Gold finch, All the Light We Cannot See, The Underground Railroad, and Less are written beautifully and gave me new perspectives and social insights which linger and reverberate in my mind. BONUS: Less is funny and smart. Read it next!
I need to read Less! It doesn’t necessarily appeal to me on the surface, but given your recommendation, I will try it! I agree with your assessment of March. It did seem elementary!
I’ve only read “The Color Purple” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”… I really need to step up my game! 🙂
You have many great books ahead of you!
I think the next Pulitzer Prize-winning novel I read will probably be “The Road.” I recently read “Child of God” and I’m interested in familiarizing myself with more of Cormac McCarthy’s writing. 🙂
Oooh! Child of God is so freaky. My next McCarthy will be Blood Meridian.
Both “Child of God” and “The Road” were brilliant—and disturbing. “All the Pretty Horses” was a great read. His command of language reminds me of Nabokov.
That is such a good comparison.
I’ve read 23 of them.
You have to love the variety of lists. I have only read six on this list but over fifty from the “Modern Library Top 100 Novels”. Still, I have many on my “to read” list from the list of Pulitzers. Thanks for posting!
I need to check out the Modern Library list. Thanks!
At first I didn’t think I would have read any, but it turns out I’ve read 14.
My recommendation would be The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields! I also loved Roots when I read it way back in high school.
I have been wanting to read Shields for a while now. Thanks for giving it a good recommendation!
You literally named off all of the books people recommend me but sadly have no time to read. Can you recommend any new books to me if I really love Sarah J. Maas?
I’ve never read Sarah J. Maas, so I don’t know how to relate other books to her work. I think any of the ones on this list would be worth your time if you could make some time for them.
Cool. Well if you love adventure and romance then I would REALLY recommend Sarah j. Mass’ books. All of my friends love her and we cried about a hundred times. My favorite series is A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I’ve read 23, including All the Light We Cannot See, which doesn’t seem like it belongs on this list.
You didn’t like it? I guess we will see how it holds up over time.
I liked it well enuf. It was my airplane reading from KC to Seattle once. I just didn’t think it was Pulitzer calibre.
I have only read To Kill a Mockingbird and the Road so far, but I am currently reading The optimist’s Daughter and have another 15 or so sitting on my shelf right now waiting to be read!
Enjoy! You have some great books ahead of you.