Pulitzer Winners: Fiction & Novels

A listing of the fiction novel winners of the Pulitzer Prize for literature (1918 - present).
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The average Goodreads member has read 9 out of 90 books on this list — how many have you read?
1

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2

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3

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3.96 avg rating — 612,362 ratings
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5

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6

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4.17 avg rating — 168,078 ratings
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7

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3.75 avg rating — 664,785 ratings
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8

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3.80 avg rating — 268,554 ratings
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9

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3.85 avg rating — 118,811 ratings
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10

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4.48 avg rating — 127,928 ratings
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11

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3.89 avg rating — 202,634 ratings
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12

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3.93 avg rating — 115,437 ratings
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13

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4.27 avg rating — 46,143 ratings
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14

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4.13 avg rating — 140,313 ratings
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15

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3.94 avg rating — 124,293 ratings
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16

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3.90 avg rating — 203,035 ratings
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17

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3.92 avg rating — 98,690 ratings
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18

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4.31 avg rating — 68,053 ratings
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19

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3.80 avg rating — 52,727 ratings
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20

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3.85 avg rating — 66,365 ratings
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21

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4.09 avg rating — 50,702 ratings
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22

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3.86 avg rating — 33,469 ratings
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23

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3.83 avg rating — 31,615 ratings
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24

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3.92 avg rating — 51,899 ratings
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25

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3.80 avg rating — 26,405 ratings
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26

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3.99 avg rating — 23,950 ratings
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26

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3.96 avg rating — 13,036 ratings
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28

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3.80 avg rating — 123,549 ratings
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29

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3.66 avg rating — 21,318 ratings
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30

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3.74 avg rating — 49,182 ratings
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31

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3.86 avg rating — 14,324 ratings
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32

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4.07 avg rating — 16,454 ratings
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33

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4.04 avg rating — 13,222 ratings
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34

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3.91 avg rating — 12,556 ratings
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35

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3.94 avg rating — 617,364 ratings
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36

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4.24 avg rating — 18,285 ratings
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37

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3.95 avg rating — 8,787 ratings
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38

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4.27 avg rating — 13,174 ratings
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39

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4.01 avg rating — 7,240 ratings
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40

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3.49 avg rating — 8,787 ratings
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41

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3.86 avg rating — 7,420 ratings
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42

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3.90 avg rating — 14,408 ratings
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43

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44

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4.09 avg rating — 8,817 ratings
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45

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3.88 avg rating — 6,075 ratings
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46

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3.81 avg rating — 6,136 ratings
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47

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3.95 avg rating — 7,221 ratings
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48

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4.29 avg rating — 968,405 ratings
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49

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3.86 avg rating — 13,716 ratings
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50

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3.92 avg rating — 5,953 ratings
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51

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3.75 avg rating — 8,905 ratings
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52

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4.11 avg rating — 6,837 ratings
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53

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3.68 avg rating — 10,779 ratings
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54

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3.68 avg rating — 5,733 ratings
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55

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3.67 avg rating — 5,358 ratings
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56

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3.57 avg rating — 8,598 ratings
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57

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3.97 avg rating — 7,009 ratings
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58

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3.74 avg rating — 8,387 ratings
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59

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3.79 avg rating — 5,917 ratings
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60

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3.94 avg rating — 4,648 ratings
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61

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3.65 avg rating — 154,965 ratings
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62

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3.73 avg rating — 2,834 ratings
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63

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3.38 avg rating — 26,977 ratings
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64

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3.63 avg rating — 3,704 ratings
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65

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3.68 avg rating — 1,434 ratings
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66

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3.63 avg rating — 1,557 ratings
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67

by
3.94 avg rating — 2,699 ratings
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68

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3.97 avg rating — 13,311 ratings
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69

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3.67 avg rating — 1,191 ratings
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70

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3.69 avg rating — 1,957 ratings
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71

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3.56 avg rating — 3,645 ratings
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72

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3.51 avg rating — 1,039 ratings
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73

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3.89 avg rating — 542,005 ratings
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73

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4.32 avg rating — 722,583 ratings
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75

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3.64 avg rating — 937 ratings
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76

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3.81 avg rating — 1,278 ratings
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77

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3.62 avg rating — 962 ratings
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78

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3.74 avg rating — 518 ratings
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79

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3.72 avg rating — 807 ratings
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80

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3.74 avg rating — 1,235 ratings
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81

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3.85 avg rating — 2,012 ratings
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82

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 47,015 ratings
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83

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4.03 avg rating — 169,928 ratings
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84

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3.61 avg rating — 811 ratings
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85

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3.92 avg rating — 3,258 ratings
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86

by
4.07 avg rating — 74,596 ratings
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87

by
3.60 avg rating — 972 ratings
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88

by
3.59 avg rating — 928 ratings
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89

by
3.73 avg rating — 427 ratings
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90

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3.58 avg rating — 677 ratings
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Comments Showing 1-50 of 76 (76 new)


message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Who made this list? The Lovely Bones did not get a Pulitzer Prize, for Chrissakes! The Kite Runner???? Get real!

The list is useless if people add any old thing.

* 2008: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
* 2007: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
* 2006: March by Geraldine Brooks
* 2005: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
* 2004: The Known World by Edward P. Jones
* 2003: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
* 2002: Empire Falls by Richard Russo
* 2001: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
* 2000: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
* 1999: The Hours by Michael Cunningham
* 1998: American Pastoral by Philip Roth
* 1997: Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser
* 1996: Independence Day by Richard Ford
* 1995: The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
* 1994: The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
* 1993: A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
* 1992: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
* 1991: Rabbit At Rest by John Updike
* 1990: The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos
* 1989: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
* 1988: Beloved by Toni Morrison
* 1987: A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor
* 1986: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
* 1985: Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
* 1984: Ironweed by William Kennedy
* 1983: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
* 1982: Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike
* 1981: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
* 1980: The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
* 1979: The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever
* 1978: Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson
* 1977: No award given
* 1976: Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
* 1975: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
* 1974: No award given [1:]
* 1973: The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty
* 1972: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
* 1971: No award given
* 1970: The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by Jean Stafford
* 1969: House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
* 1968: The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
* 1967: The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
* 1966: The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
* 1965: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
* 1964: No award given
* 1963: The Reivers by William Faulkner
* 1962: The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor
* 1961: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
* 1960: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury
* 1959: The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor
* 1958: A Death in the Family by James Agee
* 1957: No award given
* 1956: Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
* 1955: A Fable by William Faulkner
* 1954: No award given
* 1953: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
* 1952: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
* 1951: The Town by Conrad Richter
* 1950: The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr.
* 1949: Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens
* 1948: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener



message 2: by Ashley (new)

Ashley I think I got all of the non-Pulitzers, hopefully they won't be back!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I am under the impression that The Jungle Books never won a Pulitzer - that, in fact, they were never eligible for one in the first place.


message 4: by Miriam (new)

Miriam You are correct, Susanna; the Pulitzer prize only started in 1948. And I believe you have to be American or writing about America to be eligible.


message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason Miriam:

Let us all be vigilant in making sure non-Pulitzers are excised from this list when those books crop up. But in order to do that, we need to make ourselves aware of what the Pulitzer-winners are and when the Pulitzer began, for it wasn't in 1948, as you've said, but rather 1917, with the first prize to a work of fiction given in 1918. And yes: the writer must be an American, but a winning (or nominated) book's themes, while often about America, needn't be.


message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy From 1917-1948, the award was given as the Pulitzer Prizer for Novel (rather than for fiction). Here are the winners from that time period since they're not listed above:

1947: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
1946: (No Award)
1945: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
1944: Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
1943: Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
1942: In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
1941: (No Award)
1940: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
1939: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1938: The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
1937: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
1936: Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
1935: Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
1934: Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
1933: The Store by T. S. Stribling
1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
1931: Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
1930: Laughing Boy by Oliver Lafarge
1929: Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
1927: Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
1926: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
1925: So Big by Edna Ferber
1924: The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
1923: One of Ours by Willa Cather
1922: Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
1921: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
1920: (No Award)
1919: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1918: His Family by Ernest Poole
1917: (No Award)


message 7: by Marion (new)

Marion this is a wonderful list to be read by book clubs and all serious readers.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Agreed, I'm actually 1/3 of the way through the list of Pulitzers. If you have the patience to put the rest of your to-read list on hold, it's an incredibly rewarding book list to work your way through!




message 9: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Norman Mailer's Armies of the Night won the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism. It's a wonderful book.


message 10: by Jason (new)

Jason Daniel:

The list is Pulitzer Prize-winners in fiction or the novel.


message 11: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Jason,

Yes, thus my comment. Armies of the Night doesn't belong on the list even though it is a wonderful book.


message 12: by Courtney (new)

Courtney I've only read a very few of these but a very many are on my to do list. Now that I have serious reading time again! Great list!


message 13: by Lana (new)

Lana Thanks for making this list, it's wonderful! However, the novel Kane and Abel by British author Jeffrey Archer, is not a Pulitzer Prize winner.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Lana wrote: "Thanks for making this list, it's wonderful! However, the novel Kane and Abel by British author Jeffrey Archer, is not a Pulitzer Prize winner."

You're quite right; I shall remove it.


message 15: by Tim (new)

Tim I'm glad to see Gravity's Rainbow here what with the controversy.

It's odd to see Summons to Memphis on here twice though.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads I told it to "check for duplicates," so hopefully that's fixed.


message 17: by Douglas (new)

Douglas E.L. Doctorow's The March did not win. Also, this list is missing the most recent, Paul Harding's Tinkers.


message 18: by Douglas (new)

Douglas Just added Paul Harding's Tinkers, 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed for not being a Pulitzer winner:

The March, by E.L. Doctorow


message 20: by Joshlynn (new)

Joshlynn Jellicoe Road didn't win a Pulitzer. Remove.


message 21: by Douglas (new)

Douglas #60 Angela's Ashes didn't win for Literature nor Fiction.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Both removed.


message 23: by Jason (new)

Jason I've read 49 of them. I had a Pulitzer phase but ignored the ones that didn't appeal to me at all. Only 10% of the ones I read I would really recommend though (4 or 5 stars).


message 24: by Tim (new)

Tim Somebody went back and removed Gravity's Rainbow, huh? Well, it ought to be on here but it did look kind of silly next to all these mediocrities.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It isn't on here because it didn't win the Pulitzer.


message 26: by Tim (last edited May 24, 2012 02:16AM) (new)

Tim Well, it basically did but whatever. I mean, you're going to have to have an asterisk beside the year explaining what happened with it on any regular list of Pulitzer prize winners so it makes as much sense to have it as not. When you consider the silly reasons why it didn't get the award it's really much worse to omit it.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Nope, it just means I'm not adding it.


message 28: by Deborah (new)

Deborah The Pulitzer Prize for fiction was set up by JosephPulitzer and given as an endowment through Columbia University to choose, whatever board members sat on the board at the time, by reading a lot of books and then each individually voting. I have read every Pulitzer and I am writing an article to clarify and demystify it, as well as appreciate it for what it is.
Not every great book wins a pulitzer, and not every Pulitzer winning novel is the greatest novel of it's, or an other year. Some of it has to do with the ever changing politics that govern the board throughout a century, often illuminating the changing currents in thought in general in American culture. However, each book has a smaller story embedded in a larger theme that is unique to the U.S., be it an immigrant story, class, race, gender, changing of generations, and of course LAND. I learned much more about this country from having read all these books than I had in any history class and except for a handful, I am glad I read them, and for many, I was exulted, as I am by other books which have not won. Its a prize; it doesn't mean there are not others equal or better, it means the board has its own tastes during whatever particular year.
And it is important to note that whether you think them mediocre or not, most of these older books were written close to the times of actual events, as opposed to reconstructing a history. They have value, even within your own particular opinions.
In my forthcoming article, I will lay out a grid, so that people, book clubs, etc. can choose by theme; location, race, gender, war(s), etc. And then of course I will highlight favorite(s).
You can't add or subtract any thing, word or thought from the list: Its a real entity in itself, so accept it for what it is, and enjoy them, and all other great literature. The "American" theme is a consistent and seemingly mandatory element in all Pulitzer Prize winning fiction.


message 29: by Judith (last edited Jul 08, 2012 07:42AM) (new)

Judith I look forward to your grid, Deborah. This is one of my favorite lists to select from. I have not come across one that I didn't really enjoy though I thought
"A Summons to Memphis" was pretty so-so to have made the cut.

I have read 38 so far.


message 30: by Deborah (new)

Deborah I agree as well re: "Summons to Memphis". Glad you are interested in the wonderful task of reading the pulitzers. Most people don't read (them all), but it is worth it.
I found that at one point it was more interesting to read them thematically, for instance all the ones about the civil war, so that you really get entrenched in all the various perspectives of it. In the beginning, I chose in sequence, then went random ,and then demographically. I started collecting hardcovers, and have all but three now.(some 1st editions too!) My house is awry with books.
I will get back to writing that article, as it seems many people are interested. What have been your favorites thus far? Feel free to inquire about any of them. Thanks for your comment.


message 31: by Judith (new)

Judith Deborah wrote: "I agree as well re: "Summons to Memphis". Glad you are interested in the wonderful task of reading the pulitzers. Most people don't read (them all), but it is worth it.
I found that at one point it..."


I collect the books I love as well, and my house is also quite cluttered with shelves and stacks! I have on my shelf to read the following:
1. Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
2. Independence Day
3. The Confessions of Nat Turner
4. Interpreter of Maladies
5. One of Ours
6. Rabbit At Rest (I've read the first 2 in the series)
7. The Optimist's Daughter

Any of these favorites of yours? Any insights/critiques will be very welcome.

Couldn't pick a favorite, but I'll look over the titles and make a list.


message 32: by Deborah (new)

Deborah The Confessions of Nat Turner is on my top ten list. Rabbit at Rest is as good as the others. Independence Day is also very good. Interperpreter of Maladies is a collection of short stories which made her very famous. Short stories in general are difficult to write, and she writes them masterfully(as an immigrant woman from India). I did not like One of Ours nor The Optimists Daughter. I know Eudora Welty and Willa Cather are considered great writers, but I did not find these 2 books their best, nor best on the Pulizer list. Same with Faulkners Pulitzer wins. I thought The Reivers, and A fable were boring but I loved The Sound and the Fury, which I read 35 years ago, and it did not win a P. Mambo Kings Play songs of Love..alot of people loved it, and it was made into a movie. I liked it...is a Cuban immigrant/musicians in the 50's NY story, gritty, and authentic. But not my favorite. However worth reading.
Hope this helps! Keep in touch.My favorite is Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.


message 33: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Always the hours.


message 34: by Deborah (new)

Deborah do you mean The Hours the book?


message 35: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Yes, it's a quotation from "The Hours" and Woolf's suicide note.


message 36: by Judith (last edited Jul 13, 2012 03:06PM) (new)

Judith Deborah: Thanks for your notes on on TBR list.

Angle of Repose is definitely among my favorites. I also dearly loved All the King's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird when I read them years ago. I really appreciated Ironweed, The Road, The Killer Angels and The Bridge on the St. Luis Rey. I guess those constitute my favorites so far.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a hoot as was The Confederacy of Dunces (neither are favorites though).

I agree with you about "The Fable". I LOVE Faulkner, but found that one not up to his usual standards. Not fond of the Updike's Rabbit series either though I will read the last two in the series anyway.

I'll go and look at your shelf and see what you have left to read from the list!

Happy reading!


message 37: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Jonathan wrote: "Yes, it's a quotation from "The Hours" and Woolf's suicide note."

Yes, I remember the line, and I also think it was an excellent inventive book. One of my favorites of the Pulitzers, not sure if its on the top ten, but who cares, lists can make one go insane!


message 38: by Deborah (last edited Jul 15, 2012 10:10PM) (new)

Deborah Judith wrote: "Deborah: Thanks for your notes on on TBR list.

Angle of Repose is definitely among my favorites. I also dearly loved All the King's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird when I read them years ago. I rea..."


It seems we have some good overlap in our tastes (I love Henry James also), although you have read(and enjoyed)many more of the classics than I have read (or enjoyed). The Keepers of the House is a good one from the P. List. I am finishing Catch 22, since I never read it and everyone always calls it their favorite book..so gotta try it, right? Funny, ha ha, I get it, but its redundant and tiresome as well. Maybe I am just too picky. I liked "Something Happened" better and I read that when I was in my twenties and too young to know what a mid life crisis was! I also like to write and am working on a few things now as well.Keep in touch.
DeborahP.S. Did you rad "March"?


message 39: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Would the moderator mind adding the most recent win (The Orphan Master's Son)? Thank you!!


message 40: by Karen (new)

Karen Miriam wrote: "You are correct, Susanna; the Pulitzer prize only started in 1948. And I believe you have to be American or writing about America to be eligible."

Carol Shields is Canadian and Stone Diaries is on there.


message 41: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Karen wrote: "Miriam wrote: "You are correct, Susanna; the Pulitzer prize only started in 1948. And I believe you have to be American or writing about America to be eligible."

Carol Shields is Canadian and Ston..."

NO, please read thee above comments. The Pulitzer for fiction started in 1917. Carol Shields was an American/Canadian citizen, and yes, The Stone DIaries won a Pulitzer..it deserved one! One of my favorite books.


message 42: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Rebecca wrote: "Would the moderator mind adding the most recent win (The Orphan Master's Son)? Thank you!!"

Yes, it should of course be added as it won a Pulitzer. Out of all the Pulitzers, this one does not fit into the loosely defined/requirement of a Pulitzer in fiction,(that it be about an American theme), as it is about Northern Korea in a most thorough and nearly unbelievable account, and has a very thin plot to anything American. Still, it was an exceptional book, hauntingly so.


message 43: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Deborah wrote: "Judith wrote: "Deborah: Thanks for your notes on on TBR list.

Angle of Repose is definitely among my favorites. I also dearly loved All the King's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird when I read them y..."
Yes I read March...Excellent book!


Deborah wrote: "Jonathan wrote: "Yes, it's a quotation from "The Hours" and Woolf's suicide note."

Yes, I remember the line, and I also think it was an excellent inventive book. One of my favorites of the Pulitze..."



message 44: by Deborah (last edited Jul 02, 2014 08:38PM) (new)

Deborah Judith wrote: "Deborah: Thanks for your notes on on TBR list.

Angle of Repose is definitely among my favorites. I also dearly loved All the King's Men and To Kill a Mockingbird when I read them years ago. I rea..."


I just found these notes...two years late. Oh well....hope you have read some more pulitzers. You mentioned you would look and see which ones I still need to read...I don't know if my board shows everything, but I am positive I read every single Pulitzer...I made a point of it for several years and did not read anything else but those until finished. Now, its just once a year. The Goldfinch absolutely does NOT belong on that list, despite its' popularity. It is not a Pulitzer quality book, but I guess they had to choose something due to the previous years fiasco.


message 45: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Necessary Lies did not win a Pulitzer and should be removed.


message 46: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Also, there are three versions of The Magnificent Ambersons on here. Two should be removed (and especially the one written by V.F. Perkins).


message 47: by Deborah (new)

Deborah THIS LIST OF PULITZERS IS CORRECTLY AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. GOODREADS SHOULD BE MORE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT THE INFORMATION THEY SUPPLY, AS IT IS A SITE ABOUT BOOKS. ALSO, WHY DO THEY MAKE UP WHAT I AM CURRENTLY READING?????


message 48: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Deborah wrote: "THIS LIST OF PULITZERS IS CORRECTLY AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. GOODREADS SHOULD BE MORE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT THE INFORMATION THEY SUPPLY, AS IT IS A SITE ABOUT BOOKS. ALSO, WHY DO THEY MAKE UP WHAT I..."

Deborah wrote: "THIS LIST OF PULITZERS IS CORRECTLY AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET. GOODREADS SHOULD BE MORE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT THE INFORMATION THEY SUPPLY, AS IT IS A SITE ABOUT BOOKS. ALSO, WHY DO THEY MAKE UP WHAT I..."

Rebecca wrote: "Also, there are three versions of The Magnificent Ambersons on here. Two should be removed (and especially the one written by V.F. Perkins)."


message 49: by Amber (new)

Amber I removed Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain and The Magnificent Ambersons by V.F. Perkins.


message 50: by Spoofbyrd (new)

Spoofbyrd I am from the area written about in the book A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS. I have read the entire book and found it moving . Moving because I didn't have to take my Stool Softener or Exlax after finishing it. This book sucks !!!


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