No Fiction Winner Among This Year’s Pulitzers


The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there were two major surprises in the bunch. First, David Wood of The Huffington Post took home the company’s first-ever award for national reporting for his “riveting exploration of the physical and emotional challenges facing American soldiers severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan during a decade of war,” in his Beyond the Battlefield series, beating out reporters from traditional media outlets like the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal. Kind of surprising, right?

But it gets more shocking. You’re never going to believe who nabbed the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. No one. As Sarah Weinmann points out, the last time the Pulitzers failed to award a prize in fiction was back in 1977, when the board vetoed the jury’s selection: A River Runs Through It. And it’s not as if there was a shortage of excellent options among this year’s finalists — while we would have been thrilled to see Karen Russell’s debut novel Swamplandia! score such a big honor, Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, are certainly nothing to sneeze at. Click through to check out the full list of winners in the Journalism and Letters, Drama, and Music sections, and let us know in the comments if you think the fiction jurors — Susan Larson, Maureen Corrigan, and Michael Cunningham — have some serious explaining to do.


Public Service – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Breaking News Reporting – The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News Staff

Investigative Reporting – Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of the Associated Press and Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times

Explanatory Reporting – David Kocieniewski of The New York Times

Local Reporting – Sara Ganim and members of The Patriot-News Staff, Harrisburg, Penn

National Reporting – David Wood of The Huffington Post

International Reporting – Jeffrey Gettleman of The New York Times

Feature Writing – Eli Sanders of The Stranger, a Seattle (Wash.) weekly

Commentary – Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

Criticism -Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe

Editorial Writing – No award

Editorial Cartooning – Matt Wuerker of POLITICO

Breaking News Photography – Massoud Hossaini of Agence France-Presse

Feature Photography – Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post


Fiction – No award

Drama – Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes

History – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by the late Manning Marable (Viking)

Biography – George F. Kennan: An American Life, by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press)

Poetry – Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith (Graywolf Press)

General Nonfiction – The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt (W.W. Norton and Company)

Music – Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts (Aperto Press)