All Pulitzer winning works are necessary extraordinary works of art, but there are some than surpass all others in their beauty. Here’s a list of 10 must read Pulitzer Prize winning literary works that we thing surpass all others.
10 Must Read Pulitzer Prize Winning Books:
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
- The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
- Vera by Stacy Schiff
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
- Blizzard of One by Mark Strand
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This is a moving historical fiction saga that unfolds during the second world war. We follow a blind Parisian girl, who takes shelter in an uncle’s home on an island on one hand. On the other, we follow a German orphan recruited by Hitler Youth, who travels to the same island for raiding. As the two meet, the basic human instinct for empathy comes unraveled.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This mammoth of a book follows a young orphan boy’s mysterious attraction to a painting, which reminds him of his dead mother. The painting eventually draws him into the criminal underworld, changing his life in more ways than one. A haunting story of alienation that finds an anchor in art, this is a must-read.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Two time Pulitzer winner Colson writes about Black life in America with dazzling intensity. This book follows two boys who arrive at the ‘Nickel Academy’, which claims to be a haven of knowledge but is in fact a ‘chamber of horrors’. Corruption, abuse, racism run rife here, and the boys must navigate their way through their dense times there.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Oscar is a Dominican, obese, nerdy boy who lives in the ghettoes. All he wants from his life is to become a fantasy writer with a Dominican bias and to have a chance at falling in love. But even this may be too farfetched, considering his familial curse of being unlucky in love. This is a book about resilience, heartbreak and bouncing back.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
This collection of short stories revolves around the themes of identity, belonging and diaspora. In the titular story, an interpreter takes an American couple through the ancestral history of India. And in another, an Indian American couple copes with the birth of a still born. These are stories of cultural nuance and emotional depth, truly worthy of a Pulitzer.
The Executioner’s Song by Norman Mailer
This true crime book tells the story of America’s most notorious criminal, charged with the theft and murder of two people. The story follows his fight for justice as he demands to die, instead of being imprisoned long after the death sentence has been served. Bringing the age old life imprisonment versus death penalty debate to life, this book is a masterpiece.
Vera by Stacy Schiff
This biography of a great literary love story tells the tale of Vladimir Nabokov, one of the greatest Russian American writers alive, and his love Vera.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
This heartbreakingly tender account of slavery follows a girl called Sethe, who escapes from slavery and flees to Ohio. But even after eighteen years, the ghosts of her past continually haunt her. Her dead baby, whose tombstone says nothing but ‘Beloved’ makes her heart ache. But when a teenage woman shows up at her doorstep, calling herself Beloved, Sethe’s past comes back into her present.
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
An ode to African American womanhood in the Southern plantations of the 1900s, this follows the lives of two sisters. Through their letters to each other, the life of a community comes alive, making us smile, cry, weep and wake in the deepest of our hearts.
Blizzard of One by Mark Strand
The only poetry volume on this list, ‘Blizzard of One’ is a riot of emotions. Erasure of identity and temporal distortions serve to blur the lines between the sensuous and abstract, between sorrow and joy, between past and present. This is a collection of truly brilliant poems.
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