Pulitzer Prize Fiction Awardees & Honorees

The Pulitzer Prizes are named after Joseph Pulitzer, an innovative 19th-century newspaper publisher who paved the way for university-level studies in journalism. Since 1917, the Pulitzer Prizes have honored the most distinguished achievements in journalism and the arts. Read on to discover our collection of study guides for those honored with this prestigious literary award.

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: FateTags Humor

John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces was written in the 1960s but only published years after the author’s death. It depicts the adventures of Ignatius J. Reilly, an academic but lazy man who, at age 30, lives with his mother in New Orleans in the early 1960s. Forced to find a job, he encounters a string of colorful characters endemic to the city of the time.The novel begins outside the D. H. Holmes... Read A Confederacy of Dunces Summary

Publication year 1955Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: courage, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Hate & Anger, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Fate, Society: Class, Society: Colonialism, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Allegory / Fable / Parable, Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, WWI / World War I, Military / War

Publication year 1946Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Relationships: Family, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & BetrayalTags Classic Fiction, Historical Fiction, Southern Literature, Politics / Government

All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren is a fictional political novel originally published in 1946 by Harcourt Brace & Company. Robert Penn Warren was an acclaimed novelist and poet from the American South. Along with fellow Southerners Cleanth Brooks and John Crowe Ransom, he was a leading proponent of the literary critical approach known as New Criticism. His best-known novel, All the King’s Men follows the political rise and fall of Governor Willie... Read All the King's Men Summary

Publication year 2014Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Disability, History: European

A sprawling historical novel, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, explores the overarching theme of lost and redeemed humanity during the waning days of World War II. Told in chapters that alternate between the lives of Marie-Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfennig, each section, or group of chapters, also alternates between these characters’ past lives and the unfolding siege of Saint-Malo by Allied forces in August 1944. Plot SummaryMarie-Laure grows up in Paris... Read All the Light We Cannot See Summary

Publication year 1997Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: FateTags Historical Fiction, American Literature, Relationships

American Pastoral (1997) by Philip Roth examines in detail one man’s quest for the American dream and the fragility of the entire enterprise. Roth, one of the most critically acclaimed novelists of the 20th century, focuses his narrative microscope through the eyes of Nathan Zuckerman, his literary alter ego from whose perspective he has written 10 other novels, including Zuckerman Unbound (1981), The Anatomy Lesson (1983), and The Human Stain (2000). Roth has won virtually... Read American Pastoral Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Society: War, Society: Politics & Government, Society: Nation, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Values/Ideas: Science & Technology, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Identity: Mental HealthTags History: U.S., History: World, Science / Nature, Politics / Government, Military / War, WWII / World War II

Publication year 1990Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Life/Time: Birth, Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags History: U.S., Health / Medicine, Gender / Feminism, Women's Studies (Nonfiction)

A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on her Diary, 1785-1812 is a 1990 nonfiction biography of midwife Martha Ballard by American historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Using Martha Ballard’s diary as a primary source, Ulrich utilizes a microhistorical approach to evaluate the life of Ballard, the history of Maine’s Kennebec River region, and the themes of social medicine, women’s role in the economy, and religion’s place in everyday life. A Midwife’s Tale won... Read A Midwife's Tale Summary

Publication year 2002Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: WarTags WWII / World War II, History: U.S., Military / War, History: African

An Army at Dawn is a nonfiction military history book published in 2002 by American author and journalist Rick Atkinson. Subtitled The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, the book chronicles the successful Allied invasion of North Africa during World War II. The first installment of Atkinson's Liberation Trilogy, An Army at Dawn received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for History.This study guide refers to the 2002 edition published by Henry Holt and Company.Plot SummaryOn September 1... Read An Army at Dawn Summary

Publication year 1996Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Childhood & Youth, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: FamilyTags Poverty, Irish Literature

Angela’s Ashes is a 1996 memoir written by Frank McCourt. It recounts his challenging upbringing in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. At the heart of the memoir is McCourt’s account of the people and events of his childhood, and how he tried to make sense of the world around him. McCourt narrates in the present tense and follows a generally chronological order, with his time in America as a young child and then later as... Read Angela's Ashes Summary

Publication year 1993Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Sexuality, Identity: Mental Health, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Play: Drama, LGBTQ, History: U.S.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by the American playwright Tony Kushner is an epic story that spans two plays – Millennium Approaches, first produced in 1991, and Perestroika, which debuted in 1992. The entire two-part work premiered on Broadway in 1993. Angels in America is Kushner’s most well-known work and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most significant American plays of the 20th century. Angels in America... Read Angels in America Summary

Publication year 1971Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: The PastTags Historical Fiction

Written by Wallace Stegner and released in 1971, Angle of Repose is a novel about Lyman Ward, a wheelchair-bound historian who decides to write about his frontier-era grandparents, particularly his grandmother, Susan Burling Ward. He hopes that their experiences will help him deal with his present situation. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1972 and is based on the letters of Mary Hallock Foote, which were later published as A Victorian Gentlewoman... Read Angle of Repose Summary

Publication year 1991Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Conflict, Emotions/Behavior: Revenge, Identity: Gender, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags Play: Drama, Historical Fiction

A Thousand Acres is a historical fiction novel by the American author Jane Smiley. Taking place on an Iowa farm in the 1970s, the novel is a contemporary retelling of William Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. Shakespeare’s play focuses on King Lear as he determines which of his three daughters will inherit his kingdom depending on how much they flatter him. Smiley’s novel reimagines Shakespeare’s tragedy on an Iowa farm in the 1970s as Larry Cook... Read A Thousand Acres Summary

Publication year 2007Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Play: Tragedy, Play: Comedy / Satire, American Literature

August: Osage County by American playwright Tracy Letts premiered at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre in June 2007 and debuted on Broadway in December of the same year. When Beverly, the Weston family patriarch, goes missing, a web of estranged family members travel home to gather around his vitriolic spouse, Violet. The play is semi-autobiographical, and Letts explores themes of addiction, suicide, and generational trauma from his own childhood in Oklahoma. In 2008, August: Osage County won... Read August: Osage County Summary

Publication year 2010Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: MusicTags Psychological Fiction, Music, American Literature

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan tracks the passage of time in the lives of individuals in the rock music industry. The chapters defy conventional temporal and narrative chronologies, and each one is a self-contained episode in an unfolding network of stories, spanning six decades from the 1970s to the 2020s. The novel employs various narrative formats, such as the short story, the magazine article, and the graphic slide presentation. The variety... Read A Visit from the Goon Squad Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Autobiography / Memoir, NonfictionThemes Life/Time: Coming of Age, Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Self Discovery, Natural World: Environment, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Society: Community, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags Sports, Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, Bullying, Arts / Culture, Class, Race / Racism, Relationships, Poverty, Politics / Government, Science / Nature, Social Justice

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life is a 2015 memoir by William Finnegan, a writer for The New Yorker and the author of several social journalism books such as A Complicated War: The Harrowing of Mozambique and Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black South African Reporters. In Barbarian Days, Finnegan reflects on his upbringing in California and Hawaii, as well as his coming of age in the late 1960s. He relays his experience of the surfing counterculture... Read Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life Summary

Publication year 1987Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Magical Realism, Race / Racism, American Literature, Existentialism, African American Literature

Toni Morrison’s Beloved was published in 1987. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Inspired by the real-life story of a runaway African American enslaved woman named Margaret Garner, who killed her own daughter to prevent her capture and enslavement, Beloved tells the story of Sethe, a runaway enslaved woman who takes her daughter’s life in the same manner. This study guide, which addresses physical... Read Beloved Summary

Publication year 1920Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Relationships: Siblings, Values/Ideas: FateTags American Literature, Play: Tragedy

Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond the Horizon is a play that centers on the disaster that befalls two brothers when they choose to fight against their own natures. Realizing that they both love the same woman, each brother ends up pursuing the dream of the other with dire consequences.Written in 1918, Beyond the Horizon was O’Neill’s first full-length work to be produced, although it wasn’t published and first performed until 1920, the same year that it won... Read Beyond the Horizon Summary

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Joyce Carol Oates
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Publication year 2000Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: Femininity, Identity: Gender, Identity: Sexuality, Values/Ideas: Fame, Relationships: Fathers, Relationships: MothersTags Love / Sexuality, Historical Fiction, Psychological Fiction

Publication year 1955Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Identity: Sexuality, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: Femininity, Identity: MasculinityTags Southern Gothic, Play: Drama, Classic Fiction

First performed in 1955, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is one of American playwright Tennessee Williams’s best-known works. This classic play won the 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle award for Best American Play, and was adapted into a 1958 film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman. Adapted from Williams’s short story “Three Players of a Summer Game,” the three-act Cat on a Hot Tin Roof occurs in real-time as the Pollitt family gathers... Read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Summary

Publication year 1987Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Natural World: Appearance & Reality, Natural World: Space & The Universe, Values/Ideas: Science & TechnologyTags Science / Nature, Philosophy, Business / Economics, Animals, Health / Medicine, Technology

Publication year 2010Genre Play, FictionTags Play: Historical

Bruce Norris' 2010 play, Clybourne Park, imagines the events that unfolded in, before, and after Lorraine Hansberry's 1959 play, A Raisin in the Sun. It takes place in the home purchased by Lena Younger in Hansberry's play, and, like her play, addresses issues of race, class, and gender. The play examines how conversations around these issues have, and have not, changed over fifty years, often using humor.  The first act opens with Russ and Bev... Read Clybourne Park Summary

Publication year 2016Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Identity: DisabilityTags Play: Drama, Relationships, Disability, Drama / Tragedy, Poverty

Cost of Living, a play by Martyna Majok, premiered in 2016 at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. It transferred to an off-Broadway theatre in 2017, produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, and is slated to debut on Broadway in fall, 2022. The play was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and also won a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play. The title of the play refers not only to the monetary costs of... Read Cost of Living Summary

Publication year 2012Genre Play, Fiction

Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar, premiered in Chicago in 2012. Later that year, the play opened Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center. Disgraced won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, opened on the West End in 2014, and made its Broadway premiere in 2015. Like the main character, Amir Akhtar is the son of Pakistani-American immigrants and was born in the United States. His work addresses the experience of being Muslim in America and the way Islamophobia... Read Disgraced Summary

Publication year 2005Genre Play, FictionTags Play: Drama, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Social Justice

Doubt: A Parable is a 2005 play by John Patrick Shanley that analyzes an instance of doubt and suspicion in a Catholic school in the Bronx in the 1960s. In nine scenes, the play tells the story of principal Sister Aloysius’s suspicions about an inappropriate relationship between a priest, Father Flynn, and a young male student.The play opens with Father Flynn giving a sermon, utilizing a parable about a young sailor whose ship sinks and... Read Doubt: A Parable Summary

Publication year 1999Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Society: War, Society: ColonialismTags History: Asian, WWII / World War II, Politics / Government, Military / War

Publication year 2001Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Mothers, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Power & Greed, Society: ClassTags American Literature, Humor, Relationships

In Empire Falls, published in 2001, award-winning author Richard Russo focuses his sharp observations on family, faith, and hope for the future in small-town America, where the factories have left, the populations are dwindling, and the prospects are shrinking. Miles Roby almost got out of Empire Falls, but his mother’s illness brought him back a semester shy of graduating college. Now he runs the Empire Grill, a landmark that still anchors the dying town, and... Read Empire Falls Summary

Publication year 2018Genre Play, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Fear, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Values/Ideas: Good & EvilTags Play: Drama, Allegory / Fable / Parable, Grief / Death, Philosophy, Religion / Spirituality, American Literature

Everybody, a one-act play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, premiered Off-Broadway in 2017 at the Signature Theatre and was first published in 2018. It is a modern retelling of Everyman, the most well-known and anthologized example of a medieval morality play, which was adapted from a Dutch play by an anonymous 15th century English writer. Morality plays first appeared in the 12th century, evolving from the Catholic Church’s cycle plays and liturgical dramas, which reenacted biblical scenes... Read Everybody Summary

Publication year 2015Genre Play, FictionThemes Identity: Race, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: LiteratureTags American Civil War

Publication year 2018Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: War, Values/Ideas: Religion & SpiritualityTags Race / Racism, History: U.S., Civil Rights / Jim Crow, Politics / Government, American Civil War, Reconstruction Era

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Marilynne Robinson
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Publication year 2004Genre Novel, FictionThemes Life/Time: Mortality & Death, Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Relationships: Family, Relationships: Daughters & SonsTags Historical Fiction, Christian literature

Published in 2004, Gilead is Marilynne Robinson’s second novel and the first in the Gilead trilogy, which includes Home (2008) and Lila (2014). The story is written as a letter from dying Congregationalist minister John Ames to his young son. The letter is a bittersweet account of John’s life. With a slow, thoughtful pace and intimate tone, John shares past family memories and resolves an old personal grievance with his best friend’s son. As John... Read Gilead Summary

Publication year 1983Genre Play, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Truth & Lies, Identity: Masculinity, Society: Economics, Emotions/Behavior: ConflictTags Play: Drama, Play: Comedy / Satire, American Literature

The “coffee is for closers” line is considered one of the most iconic moments from playwright David Mamet’s entire oeuvre (Glengarry Glen Ross. Directed by James Foley, New Line Cinema, 1992). However, the line is actually nowhere to be found in the playscript for Glengarry Glenn Ross, which premiered at the National Theatre in London in 1983 and debuted on Broadway in 1984. Rather, it appears in the 1992 film adaptation, with a screenplay that... Read Glengarry Glen Ross Summary

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Beverly Gage
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Publication year 2022Genre Biography, NonfictionTags History: U.S., Politics / Government, Crime / Legal

Publication year 1936Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Love, Identity: Femininity, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, Romance, Military / War, American Civil War, Southern Literature

Gone with the Wind (1936) is the only novel by author Margaret Mitchell published during her lifetime. It is an enduring but controversial classic of American literature, and according to one poll, its popularity among American readers is only exceeded by the Bible. Thirty million copies have been sold worldwide.The novel’s tale of the Civil War is told from the perspective of the wealthy planter class that ruled the antebellum South, a class from which... Read Gone With The Wind Summary

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Anne Applebaum
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Publication year 2003Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Memory, Society: Class, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Values/Ideas: Power & GreedTags History: European, History: World, Military / War, Politics / Government, Incarceration

Publication year 1997Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Society: CommunityTags Anthropology, History: World

Historian and anthropologist Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) is a multidisciplinary study that uses anthropological, biological, evolutionary, and socio-economic analysis to chart the fates of different peoples throughout human history. Subtitled first as A Short History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years, and later as The Fates of Human Societies, the book seeks to understand why some groups of people have prospered while others have failed to advance to the same extent... Read Guns, Germs, and Steel Summary

Publication year 1980Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Values/Ideas: FateTags Modern Classic Fiction, Coming of Age / Bildungsroman, American Literature

Housekeeping (1980) is a novel by Marilynne Robinson that follows the upbringing of two sisters, Ruthie and Lucille Stone, in Fingerbone, Idaho, in the 1950s. This is the first novel by Marilynne Robinson. It was awarded the PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, an award the author later won for her novel Gilead (2004). Beyond Housekeeping, Robinson is most known for Gilead (2004) and Home (2008). Housekeeping, which has been named... Read Housekeeping Summary

Publication year 1968Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Justice & Injustice, Emotions/Behavior: Apathy, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Natural World: Place, Natural World: Animals, Values/Ideas: Religion & Spirituality, Values/Ideas: Equality, Values/Ideas: Fate, Values/Ideas: Good & Evil, Values/Ideas: Order & Chaos, Society: Colonialism, Society: Community, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Society: War, Emotions/Behavior: MemoryTags Historical Fiction, Classic Fiction, American Literature, Addiction / Substance Abuse, Social Justice

The novel House Made of Dawn, by N. Scott Momaday, was first published in 1968. Heralded as a major landmark in the emergence of Indigenous American literature, the novel won the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. House Made of Dawn blends fictional and nonfictional elements to depict life on an Indigenous American reservation like the one where Momaday grew up.This guide uses an eBook version of the 2018 First Harper Perennial Modern Classics (50th Anniversary)... Read House Made of Dawn Summary

Publication year 1995Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Daughters & Sons, Relationships: Fathers, Values/Ideas: Safety & DangerTags Relationships, American Literature

Publication year 1999Genre Short Story Collection, FictionThemes Society: Immigration, Relationships: Family, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Realistic Fiction, Indian Literature

Interpreter of Maladies is a 1999 short story collection by Jhumpa Lahiri, who is an American of Indian (specifically Bengali) heritage. The collection, Lahiri’s debut, was well-received and garnered many awards, including the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and the PEN/Hemingway prize. The nine stories are works of literary realism split between the immigrant experience in America and contemporary Indian life and have been held up as a model for high cultural pluralism, a subgenre... Read Interpreter of Maladies Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Grief, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Emotions/Behavior: Loneliness, Emotions/Behavior: Love, Relationships: SiblingsTags Historical Fiction, Western, Action / Adventure, Immigration / Refugee

Publication year 1997Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Values/Ideas: Safety & Danger, Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Natural World: Place, Emotions/Behavior: Guilt, Life/Time: Mortality & DeathTags Travel Literature, Action / Adventure, Sports, Drama / Tragedy, Natural Disaster

Into Thin Air is American is authored by professional mountain climber Jon Krakauer. It is a personal account of attempting to ascend Mount Everest, prompted by an assignment from Outside magazine to cover the commercial development of the communities at the mountain’s base. Krakauer’s climbing attempt, which was fatal for several, became the deadliest expedition ever on the mountain. In the book, he reflects on his experience, reporting it as truthfully as possible.Krakauer recalls being... Read Into Thin Air Summary

Publication year 2021Genre Biography, NonfictionThemes Emotions/Behavior: Determination / Perseverance, Identity: Race, Society: Class, Society: Education, Values/Ideas: Loyalty & Betrayal, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, Social Justice, Poverty

Publication year 1983Genre Novel, FictionThemes Values/Ideas: Fate

Published in 1983, Ironweed is the third entry in William Kennedy’s cycle of historical fiction set in Albany, New York; it garnered critical acclaim and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel details a few days in the life of Francis Phelan, a drifter long estranged from his family, upon his return to Albany in 1938, taking his story as a chance... Read Ironweed Summary

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Andrew Sean Greer
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Publication year 2017Genre Novel, FictionThemes Identity: SexualityTags LGBTQ

Written by Andrew Sean Greer and published in 2017, Less is a satirical comedy novel. It portrays the journey of Arthur Less, who after a difficult breakup plots a round-the-world trip to better understand himself. It won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.Plot SummaryApproaching 50, Arthur Less sits in a hotel lobby waiting to be picked up for a literary event. He is a writer and will be interviewing another writer, albeit a sci-fi author... Read Less Summary

Publication year 2017Genre Book, NonfictionThemes Identity: Race, Society: Class, Society: Nation, Society: Politics & Government, Values/Ideas: Justice & InjusticeTags Race / Racism, History: U.S., Politics / Government, Social Justice, Incarceration

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America is a work of nonfiction by James Forman Jr., an American lawyer and legal scholar specializing in racial inequities in criminal justice. Published in 2017, this critically acclaimed book examines the complex role Black leaders played in advancing tough-on-crime policies that ultimately contributed to the mass incarceration of Black people in the United States. Drawing on his experience as a public defender and his extensive... Read Locking Up Our Own Summary

Publication year 1985Genre Novel, FictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Natural World: Place, Identity: Masculinity, Identity: GenderTags Western, Historical Fiction

Lonesome Dove is a 1985 novel by American author Larry McMurtry. Chronologically, it is the third book in the Lonesome Dove series, although it was published before its two prequels, Dead Man’s Walk (1995) and Comanche Moon (1997). One of the most celebrated novels in the Western genre, Lonesome Dove tells the story of former Texas Rangers Augustus (Gus) McRae and Woodrow Call (Call) as they take a herd of cattle on an ill-fated drive... Read Lonesome Dove Summary

Publication year 1956Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: Community, Relationships: Siblings, Life/Time: MidlifeTags Play: Drama, Play: Tragedy, Auto/Biographical Fiction, Addiction / Substance Abuse

Long Day’s Journey into Night is widely considered Eugene O’Neill’s best play. It was published posthumously under the pseudonym Tyrone and is an autobiographical work about O’Neill’s family. The play was originally published in 1956 with a first showing in Sweden that same year. The play has been adapted into film several times, including productions in 1962 and 1996, as well as television adaptations in 1973, 1982, and 1987. O’Neill was awarded the Nobel Prize... Read Long Day's Journey Into Night Summary

Publication year 1991Genre Play, FictionThemes Relationships: Family, Society: War, Life/Time: Coming of AgeTags Play: Drama

Lost in Yonkers is a play by American playwright Neil Simon that premiered in 1991. It centers around Jay Kurnitz, a teenage boy sent with his younger brother, Arty, to live with his grandmother in Yonkers. Many critics consider the play, which debuted to overwhelming critical acclaim, one of Simon’s best works. It explores themes of abbreviated childhood, war, and generational trauma. Lost in Yonkers won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama upon its release, and... Read Lost In Yonkers Summary

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Geraldine Brooks
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Publication year 2005Genre Novel, FictionTags Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction

March is mostly told from the perspective of Mr. March, a military chaplain assisting Union soldiers during the Civil War. In the opening sequence, Mr. March tries to save the life of a wounded soldier but fails. This marks the first death for which he holds himself responsible, providing a foundation for his increasingly guilty conscience. His wartime assignment brings him to a plantation that he recognizes from his youth, sending him into a detailed flashback:... Read March Summary

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Art Spiegelman
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Publication year 1986Genre Graphic Novel/Book, NonfictionThemes Relationships: Friendship, Relationships: Family, Values/Ideas: FateTags History: World, WWII / World War II, Holocaust, History: European, Post Modernism

Maus by Art Spiegelman is the first graphic novel to win the Pulitzer Prize. It originally ran in Spiegelman’s Raw magazine between 1980 and 1991 before receiving mainstream attention as two collected volumes, Maus I in 1986 and Maus II in 1991. This guide is based on the 1996 complete edition. This historic memoir interlaces two narratives, one of Spiegelman’s Jewish father as he survives World War II Poland and the Auschwitz concentration camp, and... Read Maus Summary