Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pulitzer Prize

Trish is in a ladies' book club, attended the club's last meeting of the season yesterday.  She mentioned that one of the other club members has a goal: reading every Pulitzer Prize fiction novel.  Wow!  That's quite a challenge.  That got me wondering: how many prize novels are there?  And, how many have I read?  And, who was this Pulitzer guy, anyway?

The Pulitzer Prizes started in 1917, 100 years ago.  Prizes weren't awarded every year in every category, however.  And, the categories have changed over the years; the fiction category used to be included in the novel category.  Currently, there are 22 categories but that's not a constant because the categories morph and evolve.

I scanned the list of fiction/novel winners, found numerous books I've read, 20 or so, and of course, many well known books I've not read.  Didn't count them all, but many were made into movies.  Here are the links if you're curious:

Who was Pulitzer?  A publisher; Joseph Pulitzer was born in 1847, died 1911.  He was a contemporary and competitor of William Randolph Hearst of Hearst Castle fame.  He's credited with - or blamed for - creating yellow journalism, the sensationalist kind of trash found in the National Enquirer and several similar rags.  What a guy!  What would we line our bird cages with if it wasn't for good 'ol Joe?

Joe bequeathed funds to Columbia University for the Prizes, and also for the Columbia School of Journalism.  So, all in all, a pretty good guy despite the yellow stuff.  He was active in politics and served in the US Congress.  

Lots of folks do read the National Enquirer, and I've often wondered why they bother.  I used to enjoy comic books when I was a kid.  Rags like the NE are comic books for adults I guess, periodical escapes from the harsh realities of life.  Only the terminally gullible think the content is non-fiction.  

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