There is a certain pressure that comes with reading a book that has won a Pulitzer and I guess that is why I put off reading many of them. I find myself being too critical while reading such books, trying to find out the ‘WHY’ it won the prize over such and such book. That being said, I have a couple seating on my shelf that I am still yet to read. Some of them have been there for over a year. Its a shame really.
I recently read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead and it was before it won the prize but I was still reading it critically trying to find out why it had been shortlisted. I’m not in anyway saying these books do not deserve the prize but I try to see what as seen by those who picked it for the prize.
Here are some of the books that have been on my shelf for a while now (Kindle, iBooks and my actual bookshelf).
by Donna Tartt
Published October 22nd 2013 by Little, Brown
The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr
Published May 6th 2014 by Scribner
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Published April 7th 2015 by Grove Press
With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.
by Michael Cunningham
Published 1998 by Picado
Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, “The Hours” is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who one New York morning goes about planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, who in a 1950s Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beginning to write “Mrs. Dalloway.” By the end of the novel, the stories have intertwined, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace, demonstrating Michael Cunnningham’s deep empathy for his characters as well as the extraordinary resonance of his prose.
Beloved (The Trilogy #1)
by Toni Morrison
Published 1987 by Plume/Penguin Books
Beloved is a dense, complex novel that yields up its secrets one by one. As Morrison takes us deeper into Sethe’s history and her memories, the horrifying circumstances of her baby’s death start to make terrible sense. And as past meets present in the shape of a mysterious young woman about the same age as Sethe’s daughter would have been, the narrative builds inexorably to its powerful, painful conclusion. Beloved may well be the defining novel of slavery in America, the one that all others will be measured by.