As we herald our newest Pulitzer Prize winners – in an unprecedented four of the five Letters categories – we celebrate all of the 131 titles published by a current or legacy imprint of Penguin and Random House that have been awarded a Pulitzer since the inception of the Prize more than a century ago.
They include some of the defining fiction, nonfiction, and poetry of the past 100 years, such as: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz in 2008: Ghost Wars by Steve Coll in 2005: Lindbergh by Scott Berg in 1999; The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in 1940; The Road by Cormac McCarthy in 2006; The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro in 1975; Promises: Poems 1945-56 by Robert Penn Warren in 1958; Humboldt’s Gift by Saul Bellow in 1976; The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkingtonin 1919; and Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas in 1986.
Here are our four newest Pulitzer winners!
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar.
Edited by Noah Eaker.
Pulitzer citation: “For a first-person elegy for home and father that examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.”
Susan Kamil, Hisham Matar’s publisher at Random House, said, “It’s thrilling to see Hisham’s work so recognized by the Pulitzer jury. The Return is about Hisham’s personal search for his father, but his art elevates it into a universal quest for justice.”
The Return previously won the inaugural PEN/Jean Stein Book Award.
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
Edited by Bill Thomas.
Pulitzer citation: “For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.”
Colson Whitehead commented, “I don’t even know what to say — this has been a crazy ride ever since I handed the book in to my editor. I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who picked up a copy and dug it, and to all the kind folks who championed it along the way — the booksellers, the reviewers, the awesome Oprah Winfrey, and the judges. It’s a nice day to put ‘New York, New York’ on the headphones and walk around city making crazy gestures at strangers.”
The Underground Railroad has sold over 825,000 copies in the United States across all formats. An Oprah’s Book Club 2016 selection, #1 New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Book Review Ten Best Books of 2016 selection and the winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, the book chronicles young Cora’s journey as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. After escaping her Georgia plantation for the rumored Underground Railroad, Cora discovers no mere metaphor, but an actual railroad full of engineers and conductors, and a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.
Edited by Amanda Cook.
Pulitzer citation: “For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.”
Ms. Cook commented, “It’s been an honor for all of us at Crown to help bring Evicted into the world. Matt Desmond writes with great heart and intellectual rigor about America’s housing crisis. He follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads, showing us how a lack of stable shelter traps families in poverty and destroys lives meant for better things. Matt often says, ‘We don’t need to outsmart poverty; we need to hate it more.’ With Evicted, he has helped us do exactly that.”
Evicted previously won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonficiton, the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, the 2017 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction, and the 2016 Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction, among other honors.
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson.
Edited by Edward Kastenmeier.
Pulitzer citation: “For a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.”
Mr. Kastenmeier commented, “Heather is a remarkable historian who has spent the last ten years of her life working diligently to make sure she could do justice to this story before it is too late. She has shown remarkable courage and fortitude in researching a story the authorities didn’t want told. We need that now more than ever. In the years she’s been working on this book the issues it raises have become more urgent than ever. For all these reasons I could not be happier for her upon this news.”
We thank and congratulate Hisham Matar, Colson Whitehead, Matthew Desmond, and Heather Ann Thompson, their respective editors Noah Eaker, Bill Thomas, Amanda Cook, and Edward Kastenmeier, and our colleagues at Random House, Doubleday, Crown Publishers, and Pantheon for continuing and building upon one of our proudest literary traditions.
To view the complete 2017 Pulitzer winners list, click here.
Learn more about the winners here:
Brightly, the Penguin Random House site that helps parents raise kids who love to read, is in the running for a Webby’s People’s Voice Award in the Family and Parenting category. Cast your vote today and show your support for this online resource dedicated to growing lifelong readers.
Nominees in the 21st Annual Webby Awards were chosen from a record-setting 13,000 entries, and they represent the best online work in the world. Brightly is currently in first place and your vote can help keep the momentum going. Voting is open until Thursday, April 20, 2017. Once you’ve cast your vote, visit Brightly for book recommendations, tips, advice, and more.
Viking and Penguin Books are thrilled that Karan Mahajan’s The Association of Small Bombs has won the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. Henry Louis Gates, the chairman of The Cleveland Foundation, announced the winners of its 82nd Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards on March 23. Since 1935, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have promoted and honored books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity.
Congratulations to Mr. Mahajan and everyone involved with the success of this exceptional book.
The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy, dazzling in its acuity, and ambitious in scope. Mr. Mahajan writes brilliantly about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators.
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards will be presented to this year’s winners at the State Theatre in Cleveland, hosted by the Cleveland Foundation and emceed by Jury Chair Gates on September 7 as part of Cleveland Book Week.
For a complete list of award winners, click here.
We are excited to congratulate our authors Samanta Schweblin, Stefan Hertmans and David Grossman on being longlisted for The Man Booker International Prize 2017. Start reading War and Turpentine, Fever Dream and A Horse Walks into a Bar today!
We are deeply saddened by the news of our author Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s death. We have had the honor of working with Amy for many years, and have great admiration for her both professionally and personally. Together, we will be privileged to bring the joy of her books to adult and children’s readers for generations to come.
Amy Rennert, Amy’s longtime literary agent and friend, shared this: “Everything Amy did was life and love affirming. She was such a bright light with a great sense of wonder. Amy loved her family. She loved words, ideas, connections. She taught us that life’s seemingly small moments are not really small at all. Amy’s final essay, written under the most difficult of circumstances, a love letter to her husband Jason, was the ultimate gift to him and also to the rest of us. She leaves behind a legacy of love and beauty and kindness.” Random House Children’s Books, Penguin Young Readers, Dutton, and The Crown Publishing Group (3/13/17)
It’s been an amazing year for reading, and the The New York Times Book Review editors have selected some of their favorites.
Check out some of the most loved books of the year:
At Sunday’s American Music Awards, Zayn Malik won the New Artist of the Year award!
Learn more about this beloved up-and-comer through his new book:
“This book is my diary of a period that I would like to share with you all. I hope that there are things in the book that contextualise some of the moments and memories we have all shared together. There are things I address in the book that are very personal to me, things that I have never told anyone, things I still find hard to talk about. It’s a part of a journey I’m still on.”—ZAYN
This week, the National Book Foundation announced its Shortlists for the 2016 National Book Award: five titles in each of four categories.
The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson
YOUNG PEOPLE’S LITERATURE:
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The winners will be announced at the annual National Book Awards dinner on Wednesday, November 16 during which the Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters will be bestowed upon Robert A. Caro, the singular, #1 bestselling, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award-winning author of The Power Broker and The Years of Lyndon Johnson biographies. The award is given annually to an author who has enriched our literary heritage over a lifetime of achievement.
Our congratulations to Mr. Caro, his Knopf and Vintage publishing teams, and to Nicola Yoon, Heather Ann Thompson, Karan Mahajan, Colson Whitehead, and to their editors and publishers.
Penguin Random House authors Ron Chernow, James McBride, Elaine Pagels, Abraham Verghese and Isabel Wilkerson are among the recipients of this year’s National Humanities Medals, and our author Sandra Cisneros is among the recipients of the National Medal of Arts, it was announced this week by President Barack Obama. These prestigious awards will be personally presented by the President in a special White House ceremony on Thursday, September 22. The ceremony will be streamed live.
Our authors were recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities as follows:
- Ron Chernow for bringing our Nation’s story to life. Through his examination of America’s successful giants and titans, he also invites his readers to discover their failures and foibles, uncovering enduring lessons that inform our modern era.
Sandra Cisneros for enriching the American narrative. Through her novels, short stories, and poetry, she explores issues of race, class, and gender through the lives of ordinary people straddling multiple cultures. As an educator, she has deepened our understanding of American identity.
- James McBride for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America. Through writings about his own uniquely American story, and his works of fiction informed by our shared history, his moving stories of love display the character of the American family.
- Elaine Pagels for her exploration of faith and its traditions. Through her study of ancient manuscripts and other scholarly work, she has generated new interest and dialogue about our contemporary search for knowledge and meaning.
Abraham Verghese for reminding us that the patient is the center of the medical enterprise. His range of proficiency embodies the diversity of the humanities; from his efforts to emphasize empathy in medicine, to his imaginative renderings of the human drama.
- Isabel Wilkerson for championing the stories of an unsung history. Her masterful combination of intimate human narratives with broader societal trends allows us to measure the epic migration of a people by its vast impact on our Nation and on each individual life.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities were established by Congress in 1965 as independent agencies of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $5 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.
Penguin Young Readers joins the world in mourning the passing of Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the beloved bestselling Llama Llama children’s book series. She passed away the morning of September 3, 2016 at her home in Vermont after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was fifty years old.
As the creator, author, and artist of Llama Llama Red Pajama and many other cherished children’s stories, Anna has helped countless children and parents navigate many of life’s first experiences and key developmental stages. Anna’s fun-loving spirit is reflected in her infectious read-aloud rhymes and she taught us how to reach kids on their level and how to reassure and encourage them. Her generous and kind-hearted nature made the process of creating books a pleasure, and we were inspired to not just sell books, but to want to find ways to share them with as many people as possible.
As we grieve, we also celebrate Anna¹s life and lasting legacy. Please use this space as a place to remember Anna, and to share the ways in which her books have impacted you and the children in your lives.
-Penguin Young Readers