Pulitzer Prizes in 2020

The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award administered by Columbia University in New York City given to those who become successful in newspaper and online journalism, musical composition and literature. The prize consists itself on a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award for the winners in each of the categories. Last Monday 15 books were acknowledged as Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners. The categories were fiction, biography, poetry, general history and general nonfiction. Here it is given a brief description of the winners in each of the categories.

Fiction

The winner in this category was “The Nickel Boys”, by Colson Whitehead.

The Nickel Boys continues the previous Whitehead' s Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Bestseller the Underground Railroad in which he narrates a fiction story of a school in Florida where black boys were victims of brutal tortures and buried in an unknown graveyard. In the Nickel Boys he will characterize another part of U.S. history by narrating the story of Two Boys on a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy in Jim-Crow-era in Florida. This is a grotesque place in which students are physically and sexually abused.

History

The winner in this category was “Sweet taste of Liberty: A true story of slavery and Restitution in America”, by W. Caleb McDaniel

The book relates the story of Henrietta Wood, a woman born into slavery, who after being freed is resold again as a slave. Henrietta will never forget the man who took her liberty away from her so she sues him for damages when she obtains her freedom for a second time.  According to Mc Daniel “the book offers lessons for today, both about the impact restitution can make and about the limited power of payment alone”.

Biography

The winner in this category was “Sontag: her Life and Work”, by Benjamin Moser                        

The book relates the history of Susan Sontag, a woman that had been married for seven years and had slept with 36 people, including both men and women. But it was only with Cuban American playwright that she could have an orgasm. The book focuses on making the reader to see Sontag as a complex person and on making people understand her thoughts.

Poetry

The winner in this category was “The tradition”, by Jericho Brown

 

Brown' s poetry in the book is aimed to characterize a society in which blackness is linked to illness. Blackness is characterized in several ways throughout the full collection, as a speck, as flowers prepared to be cut down. He manages to create a racial doublespeak, dark could mean morbid and black could mean death.

General Nonfiction

There were two winners in this category

“The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America”, by Greg Grandin

The book relates the story of a very well-known subject, named as a myth by Grandin, the American frontier. “Other countries have borders but only the United States has a frontier”, he writes. For the founding fathers the right to take whatever type of land is described as inseparable from liberty; freedom, for the Americans was not able without the frontier, boundless land for being taken.

“The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dream, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer and Care”, by Anne Boyer

Partially a cancer memoir, the book relates Boyer' s diagnosis and treatment of one of the most severe types of breast cancer with which she was diagnosed at the age of 41. The book, divided into chapters which are divided into short sections, describes the centers in which she received treatment as well as the physical, cultural and social experience she went through with the disease.

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