And The Winner Of The 2012 Pulitzer For Fiction Is... Nobody?

Pulitzer prize for 2012 withheld

via Los Angeles Times

The 2012 Pulitzers for books were just announced. The three finalists in the fiction category were: 

  • Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • The Pale King by David Foster Wallace

And the winner? Nobody!

Since it was founded in 1918, the Pulitzer for fiction has been withheld nine other times, most recently in 1977. 

The Twittersphere is explodifying over the news. It seems as though the panel of judges couldn't muster a majority vote on any one of finalists, though because I'm getting that information from Twitter, I allow it could be wrong. 

Here were the other book prizes awarded by the committee: 

  • Biography to John Lewis Gaddis for George F. Kennan: An American Life
  • History to Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
  • General nonfiction to The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  • Poetry to Tracy K. Smith for Life on Mars

​What do you think, folks? Does this rob the fiction publishing industry of credibility, as some have proffered? Or is it much ado about nothing?

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bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. April 16, 2012 - 2:26pm

What the fuck?  I wasn't even nominated.  This will not stand.

Brien Piech's picture
Brien Piech April 16, 2012 - 5:49pm

I would have loved to see Denis Johnson's face when he got the news. I attended his reading at the U of M few days ago and he's incredibly arrogant, but in a really funny way, especially when clowning coeds brave enough to ask him questions. He spent some time discussing how his only goal is to win huge awards and cannot believe it when he loses, then decides perhaps his book wasn't all that amazing. Nonetheless, I got the impression he really, really, really wanted this win.

Jose F. Diaz's picture
Jose F. Diaz from Boston is reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel April 17, 2012 - 6:15am

The Arabic writing award was also withheld this year I believe. The simple matter is it is either worthy or it isn't. Just because you wrote a book that got to that level doesn't mean it is actually up to snuff. I would want to win because it is on level with the other winners, not because we were the only submissions worth getting to that level.

Howie, I have no clue how you were overlooked....again!

Illi's picture
Illi from MN is reading Infinite Jest April 17, 2012 - 10:03am

Just give it to Wallace & everyone can shut up, it's not like he'll win it again.