Which Pulitzer Prize Winners Have You Read?

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



49 thoughts on “Which Pulitzer Prize Winners Have You Read?

Add yours

  1. 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!☀️

      1. 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!

  2. 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…

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!!!!

  5. 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.

  6. 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😂

      1. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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. 🙂

          1. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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