I’m sure that fewer than ten among my sea of readers have missed the shocking news that the Pulitzer Prize committee has decided not to award a prize for fiction this year.  This is the first time in thirty-five years that this has happened over the ninety-six years of Pulitzer awards.

Here is a quote from the New York Times article:

… it was the absence of an award for fiction that was perhaps the most shocking result of the committee’s voting. A winning book can be an instant boost to sales and is one of the most closely watched awards in the publishing industry. Finalists in the category included “Train Dreams” by Denis Johnson, “Swamplandia!” by Karen Russell and “The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace, who died in 2008.
Jonathan Galassi, the publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, said he was “shellshocked” by the lack of a winner in fiction.

Are you bothered, irate, or even outraged by this decision?  Or, is this a literary yawn?  Does it, perhaps, gladden you?  I’d like to know your opinion of the Pulitzer decision re: this year’s fiction, and will share with you not only the results, but also will then reveal my own feelings on the subject.  (This may seem like the modus opinioni of politicians:  “Poll first, then take your courageous stand,” though I would not sink to such depths.  Trust me.)  So, please comment with your opinion and reason.  My regular post will appear nearer the weekend.



  1. I’m late to the party, but delighted to catch up with your blog.
    This is good stuff. Interesting scope and well written.
    The blogosphere has been enriched.

  2. Generally I don’t read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great post.

  3. I like this posting very much. Even though postmodernist thinkers tell us there is no truth, it is important that news institutions, and educational institutions dedicate themselves to trying to find truth and be truthful.
    One of the problems with where we are now is that we are in a tower of babel where
    all we have are folks yelling at each other for their own ends. It becomes the
    verbal “war of all against all”.

    P.S. I can’t wait to read Hangtown. When will you be making it available?

    1. Thank you, Dr. Malhotra Bentz. “Tower of Babel” is an apt metaphor as everyone talks while no one listens. Still, one would think that some truth would emerge, even if it’s at the level of 2 + 2 = 4. But no one hears it or is too devoted to spewing their own “truths” (opinions, really) to combat provable truths. Perhaps probability tests somehow could be applied to political statements of “truth.”

      Hangtown, my novel of life and death in a California Gold Rush town is completed. It “just” awaits my getting it up and available in e-version, which should be done shortly. Thanks for asking.

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