The best 52 Pulitzer Prize books

Get ready to dive into the world of literary excellence with our curated book list on Pulitzer Prize winners. These prestigious awards honor the finest works of literature, journalism, and music, offering a glimpse into the most significant voices of our time.
From fiction and non-fiction to poetry and biography, this collection showcases the diverse range of Pulitzer Prize-winning works. Expand your literary horizons and explore the extraordinary talents that have shaped our cultural landscape.

The best 52 Pulitzer Prize books
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1
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
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What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

2
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau

The Keepers of the House

Shirley Ann Grau

What's The Keepers of the House about?

The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau is a powerful novel that delves into the complexities of race, family, and identity in the American South. Set in the 1960s, it tells the story of a wealthy white widow, Abigail Howland, and her unconventional relationship with a black man. As their love defies societal norms, it exposes deep-seated prejudices and leads to devastating consequences for the family.

Who should read The Keepers of the House?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and complex family dramas
  • Those interested in exploring the history and legacy of racism in the United States
  • Individuals who appreciate richly drawn characters and atmospheric storytelling

3
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen

What's The Sympathizer about?

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is a gripping novel that delves into the complexities of identity, loyalty, and betrayal. Set during the Vietnam War, it follows a communist spy who infiltrates the South Vietnamese army and eventually escapes to the United States. Through his unique perspective, the book offers a thought-provoking exploration of political and personal struggles.

Who should read The Sympathizer?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and complex narratives
  • Those interested in exploring the duality of identity and the immigrant experience
  • Individuals who appreciate literary fiction with a focus on historical and political themes

4
Pulitzer Prize Books: Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser

Martin Dressler

Steven Millhauser

What's Martin Dressler about?

Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that follows the ambitious and imaginative protagonist, Martin Dressler, as he rises from a humble servant to a wealthy hotel magnate in Gilded Age New York City. Set against the backdrop of rapid industrialization and societal transformation, the book explores themes of ambition, creativity, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

Who should read Martin Dressler?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive, atmospheric storytelling
  • Those interested in the historical development of New York City
  • People who appreciate nuanced explorations of the American Dream and its pitfalls

5
Pulitzer Prize Books: Ironweed by William Kennedy

Ironweed

William Kennedy

What's Ironweed about?

Ironweed is a powerful novel set during the Great Depression, telling the story of Francis Phelan, a former baseball player turned homeless alcoholic. As he grapples with his past and the choices that led him to his current situation, the book delves into themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the struggle for dignity in the face of adversity.

Who should read Ironweed?

  • Readers who enjoy character-driven stories with complex and flawed protagonists
  • Those interested in exploring themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the human experience
  • People who appreciate rich and vivid depictions of Depression-era America

6
Pulitzer Prize Books: Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow

Humboldt's Gift

Saul Bellow

What's Humboldt's Gift about?

Humboldt's Gift is a novel by Saul Bellow that delves into the complexities of friendship, success, and the pursuit of meaning in life. Set in 1970s Chicago, it tells the story of Charlie Citrine, a struggling writer who reflects on his relationship with the eccentric poet Von Humboldt Fleisher. Through witty prose and profound insights, the book explores themes of art, ambition, and the elusive nature of happiness.

Who should read Humboldt's Gift?

  • Readers who enjoy literary fiction and complex characters
  • Those interested in exploring the themes of success, identity, and the pursuit of meaning
  • People who appreciate deep and thought-provoking reflections on art, culture, and human nature

7
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys

Colson Whitehead

What's The Nickel Boys about?

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that tells the story of two boys sentenced to a brutal reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. Inspired by real events, it explores themes of race, justice, and the lasting impact of systemic oppression. Whitehead's compelling storytelling makes this book a must-read.

Who should read The Nickel Boys?

  • Anyone interested in exploring the dark legacy of systemic racism in America
  • Readers who appreciate compelling and thought-provoking narratives
  • Individuals who want to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by marginalized communities

8
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Overstory by Richard Powers

The Overstory

Richard Powers

What's The Overstory about?

The Overstory by Richard Powers is a thought-provoking novel that weaves together the lives of nine individuals, all with a deep connection to trees. It explores the profound impact of trees on our world and challenges our perspective on the environment. Through beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, Powers brings to light the importance of conservation and the interconnectedness of all living beings.

Who should read The Overstory?

  • Environmentalists and nature lovers looking for a thought-provoking read
  • Readers interested in the interconnectedness of trees and human life
  • Those who enjoy literary fiction with deep character development

9
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, George Eliot

The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton, George Eliot

What's The Age of Innocence about?

'The Age of Innocence' is a classic novel by Edith Wharton that explores the complexities of social conventions and the consequences of defying them. Set in New York City in the 1870s, it tells the story of Newland Archer, a young man engaged to a respectable woman but drawn to her unconventional cousin. Touching on themes of love, duty, and societal expectations, the novel offers a poignant portrayal of the struggle between personal desire and societal conformity.

Who should read The Age of Innocence?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature and exploring social norms
  • Individuals interested in the complexities of love and relationships
  • Those who appreciate rich and descriptive writing that captures the essence of a bygone era

10
Pulitzer Prize Books: Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

What's Maus I: A Survivor's Tale about?

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman is a powerful graphic novel that tells the story of the Holocaust through the eyes of the author’s father. Using the metaphor of Jews as mice and Nazis as cats, this deeply moving book delves into the horrors of the past while also exploring the complex relationship between the author and his father.

Who should read Maus I: A Survivor's Tale?

  • Readers who are interested in World War II history and the Holocaust
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful graphic novels
  • Individuals who appreciate unique storytelling methods, such as using anthropomorphic animals to depict real-life events

11
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt

The Swerve

Stephen Greenblatt

What's The Swerve about?

The Swerve (2011) by Stephen Greenblatt explores the remarkable discovery of an ancient Roman philosophical poem by a Renaissance book hunter. This captivating book delves into the transformative power of ideas and how this one ancient text helped to shape the modern world.

Who should read The Swerve?

  • Readers with an interest in intellectual history and the impact of ideas on society
  • Individuals who enjoy exploring the roots of modern philosophical and scientific thought
  • People who appreciate thought-provoking narratives that challenge traditional assumptions

12
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro

The Power Broker

Robert A. Caro

What's The Power Broker about?

The Power Broker (1974) by Robert A. Caro is a monumental biography that delves into the life and influence of urban planner Robert Moses. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Caro reveals how Moses shaped the landscape of New York City and wielded immense power behind the scenes, leaving a lasting impact on the city's infrastructure and politics.

Who should read The Power Broker?

  • Individuals interested in urban planning, politics, and power dynamics
  • Readers who enjoy in-depth and meticulously researched biographies
  • People who want to understand the impact of one person's influence on a city's development

13
Pulitzer Prize Books: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

What's Interpreter of Maladies about?

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a compelling collection of short stories that delves into the lives of Indian characters and the complexities of their relationships. With exquisite prose, Lahiri explores themes of love, loss, and cultural identity, offering a poignant reflection on the human experience.

Who should read Interpreter of Maladies?

  • Individuals who enjoy exploring themes of cultural identity and immigration
  • Readers who appreciate beautifully crafted and thought-provoking short stories
  • Those interested in gaining insights into human relationships and the complexities of communication

14
Pulitzer Prize Books: One of Ours by Willa Cather

One of Ours

Willa Cather

What's One of Ours about?

One of Ours is a novel by Willa Cather that tells the story of Claude Wheeler, a young man who feels trapped in his rural Nebraska life. Seeking meaning and purpose, he enlists in the army during World War I. The book explores themes of identity, belonging, and the search for fulfillment.

Who should read One of Ours?

  • Individuals interested in exploring the themes of purpose, identity, and belonging
  • Readers who appreciate historical fiction set during World War I
  • Those who enjoy rich character development and evocative storytelling

What's The Stories of John Cheever about?

'The Stories of John Cheever' is a captivating collection of short stories that delves into the complexities of human nature and the suburban American experience. Cheever's exquisite prose and keen observations bring to life characters struggling with identity, relationships, and societal expectations. From tales of infidelity and family dynamics to glimpses of the hidden truths beneath the surface, this book offers a rich and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition.

Who should read The Stories of John Cheever?

  • Readers who enjoy exploring the complexities of human nature and relationships
  • Those with an interest in mid-20th century American society and culture
  • People who appreciate finely crafted prose and keen observations of everyday life

What's The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter about?

The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter is a captivating anthology that brings together the remarkable short fiction of the renowned American writer. Through vivid prose and rich character development, Porter delves into themes of love, betrayal, and the human condition. From the haunting tale of a woman facing her past in “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” to the poignant exploration of family dynamics in “Theft,” this collection offers a profound and unforgettable reading experience.

Who should read The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and introspective literature
  • Those interested in exploring the complexities of human relationships and emotions
  • Individuals who appreciate finely crafted and evocative prose

17
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Fisher

The Poisonwood Bible

Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Fisher

What's The Poisonwood Bible about?

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is a compelling novel that tells the story of the Price family, who move to the Belgian Congo in 1959 as missionaries. Through the perspectives of the four Price sisters and their mother, the book explores themes of colonialism, cultural clash, and the effects of Western influence on the African continent. It is a thought-provoking and beautifully written tale of family, faith, and the consequences of our actions.

Who should read The Poisonwood Bible?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and character-driven narratives
  • Those interested in exploring themes of colonialism, cultural clash, and redemption
  • People who appreciate rich and immersive storytelling that spans generations and continents

18
Pulitzer Prize Books: Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Gödel, Escher, Bach

Douglas R. Hofstadter

What's Gödel, Escher, Bach about?

Gödel, Escher, Bach is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter that explores the interconnectedness of mathematics, art, and music. Through an engaging blend of analogies, puzzles, and thought experiments, Hofstadter delves into the works of mathematician Kurt Gödel, artist M.C. Escher, and composer Johann Sebastian Bach to unravel the mysteries of human cognition and the nature of self-reference.

Who should read Gödel, Escher, Bach?

  • Readers who are curious about the nature of human consciousness and creativity
  • Individuals interested in exploring the intersection of art, music, mathematics, and technology
  • People who enjoy thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating, and mind-expanding literature

19
Pulitzer Prize Books: Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Empire Falls

Richard Russo

What's Empire Falls about?

Empire Falls by Richard Russo is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that paints a poignant portrait of a small, fading industrial town in Maine. Through the lives of its richly developed characters, the book delves into themes of family, friendship, and the struggle for identity and meaning in a changing world.

Who should read Empire Falls?

  • Readers who enjoy character-driven narratives
  • Those interested in small-town dynamics and America's working class
  • People who appreciate insightful and thought-provoking storytelling

20
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt

What's The Goldfinch about?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a gripping novel that follows the life of Theo Decker after a tragic event changes the course of his life. As he navigates through loss, love, and the criminal underworld, he becomes entangled with a priceless painting that holds the key to his redemption. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book is a compelling exploration of art, fate, and the choices we make.

Who should read The Goldfinch?

  • Readers who enjoy immersive, character-driven narratives
  • Art enthusiasts interested in the world of antiques and art forgery
  • Those who appreciate rich, descriptive writing and nuanced storytelling

21
Pulitzer Prize Books: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey

A Bell for Adano

John Hersey

What's A Bell for Adano about?

A Bell for Adano is a novel by John Hersey that tells the story of an American officer, Major Victor Joppolo, who is tasked with restoring order and justice to the Italian town of Adano during World War II. Through his efforts to bring back the town's beloved bell, the book explores themes of leadership, cultural differences, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Who should read A Bell for Adano?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • Those interested in exploring themes of cultural clash and understanding
  • People who appreciate well-rounded and complex characters in their literature

22
Pulitzer Prize Books: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead

Marilynne Robinson

What's Gilead about?

Gilead is a novel by Marilynne Robinson that delves into the life of an aging preacher, John Ames, as he reflects on his life, faith, and family. Written as a letter to his young son, the book explores themes of love, forgiveness, and the passage of time, offering a profound meditation on the human experience.

Who should read Gilead?

  • Anyone interested in exploring themes of faith, redemption, and the human experience
  • Readers who appreciate reflective and introspective storytelling
  • Individuals who enjoy character-driven narratives and rich, evocative prose

23
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

The Caine Mutiny

Herman Wouk

What's The Caine Mutiny about?

The Caine Mutiny is a classic novel set during World War II. Written by Herman Wouk, it delves into the lives of the crew aboard the USS Caine and their experiences during the war. Focusing on themes of authority, loyalty, and morality, the book takes readers on a thrilling journey that challenges their perspectives on duty and honor.

Who should read The Caine Mutiny?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • People interested in exploring themes of leadership, morality, and the complexities of human nature
  • Individuals who appreciate well-developed, multi-dimensional characters in a compelling story

24
Pulitzer Prize Books: Washington by Ron Chernow

Washington

Ron Chernow

What's Washington about?

Washington by Ron Chernow is a comprehensive biography that delves into the life and legacy of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, Chernow offers a nuanced portrayal of Washington, exploring his leadership during the American Revolution, his role in shaping the new nation, and the complexities of his character.

Who should read Washington?

  • History enthusiasts and those curious about the life of George Washington
  • Readers interested in the founding of the United States and its early leaders
  • People who enjoy in-depth biographies and learning about influential figures

25
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

What's The Underground Railroad about?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead follows the story of a young woman named Cora who escapes from a Georgia plantation and sets out on a journey through the underground railroad. This novel reimagines the historical network of secret routes and safe houses used by African-American slaves to escape to free states, exploring themes of freedom, race, and the power of the human spirit.

Who should read The Underground Railroad?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the history of slavery in America
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful stories
  • Individuals who appreciate beautiful and evocative writing

26
Pulitzer Prize Books: A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

A Thousand Acres

Jane Smiley

What's A Thousand Acres about?

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley is a powerful novel that reimagines Shakespeare's King Lear set on a farm in Iowa. It delves into themes of family, power, and the complexities of human relationships, as it tells the story of a father and his three daughters and the dark secrets that unravel within their family.

Who should read A Thousand Acres?

  • Readers who enjoy contemporary fiction with complex family dynamics
  • Those interested in exploring the impact of individual choices on family relationships
  • People who appreciate thought-provoking narratives that tackle societal issues

27

What's All the Light We Cannot See about?

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr is a captivating novel set during World War II. It tells the story of a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths eventually cross as they navigate the chaos and destruction of the war. Filled with beautiful prose and intricate storytelling, the book explores themes of survival, humanity, and the power of connection.

Who should read All the Light We Cannot See?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction, particularly World War II settings
  • Those looking for a beautifully written and emotionally engaging story
  • People who appreciate unique narrative structures and perspectives

28
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Robert C. Evans

The Old Man and the Sea

Ernest Hemingway, Robert C. Evans

What's The Old Man and the Sea about?

The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway tells the story of an aging Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who struggles with a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. Filled with themes of struggle, resilience, and the nature of mankind, it is a timeless classic that explores the relationship between man and the natural world.

Who should read The Old Man and the Sea?

  • Readers who enjoy literary classics and timeless stories
  • Those interested in themes of perseverance, resilience, and the human spirit
  • People who appreciate insightful exploration of the relationship between man and nature

What's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao about?

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) tells the captivating story of a Dominican family living in New Jersey. Through a blend of history, fantasy, and pop culture references, Junot Díaz explores themes of identity, love, and the curse that has plagued the family for generations. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel will take you on an unforgettable journey.

Who should read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao?

  • Readers who enjoy coming-of-age stories with a unique and diverse perspective
  • People interested in Dominican history, culture, and the immigrant experience
  • Those who appreciate a blend of pop culture references, magical realism, and literary fiction

30
Pulitzer Prize Books: Independence Day by Richard Ford

Independence Day

Richard Ford

What's Independence Day about?

Independence Day by Richard Ford is a novel that delves into the complexities of family, identity, and the American dream. Set against the backdrop of the Fourth of July weekend, it follows the life of Frank Bascombe as he navigates the challenges of fatherhood, love, and the pursuit of independence. With beautifully crafted prose, Ford explores the intricacies of human relationships and the longing for freedom.

Who should read Independence Day?

  • People who enjoy character-driven narratives and introspective storytelling
  • Readers who appreciate nuanced explorations of everyday life and human relationships
  • Those interested in contemporary American fiction and the complexities of the human experience

31

What's The Optimist's Daughter about?

The Optimist's Daughter is a novel by Eudora Welty that delves into themes of grief, family, and resilience. It follows the story of Laurel, a middle-aged woman who returns to her hometown to care for her ailing father. Through flashbacks and introspection, the book explores the complexities of relationships and the ways in which people cope with loss.

Who should read The Optimist's Daughter?

  • Readers who enjoy character-driven stories and rich, evocative prose
  • Those interested in exploring themes of family, loss, and resilience
  • Individuals who appreciate a nuanced and emotionally resonant exploration of the human experience

32
Pulitzer Prize Books: Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener

Tales of the South Pacific

James A. Michener

What's Tales of the South Pacific about?

Tales of the South Pacific is a collection of interconnected stories set during World War II in the South Pacific. Written by James A. Michener, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book brings to life the experiences of various characters as they navigate love, war, and the challenges of a beautiful yet unpredictable environment. Through vivid storytelling, Michener offers a unique perspective on the human spirit and the impact of war.

Who should read Tales of the South Pacific?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction set during World War II
  • Individuals interested in exploring the culture and society of the South Pacific
  • Those who appreciate richly detailed and character-driven storytelling

What's A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain about?

A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain is a collection of short stories that delves into the lives of Vietnamese immigrants living in the United States. Through beautifully crafted narratives, the book explores themes of identity, family, and the clash of cultures, offering a unique and thought-provoking perspective on the immigrant experience.

Who should read A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain?

  • Readers who enjoy exploring issues of cultural identity and displacement
  • Those interested in the experiences of Vietnamese immigrants living in the United States
  • Individuals who appreciate well-crafted, emotionally resonant short stories

34

What's The Things They Carried about?

The Things They Carried is a powerful book by Tim O'Brien that tells the story of a group of soldiers during the Vietnam War. Blurring the line between fiction and memoir, it delves into the emotional and psychological weight that soldiers carry with them. Through gripping storytelling, O'Brien takes readers on a journey that examines the realities of war and the burden of memory.

Who should read The Things They Carried?

  • Readers who are interested in the emotional and psychological experiences of soldiers during the Vietnam War
  • Those who enjoy thought-provoking narratives that blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction
  • People who appreciate introspective and reflective storytelling

35
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

The Magnificent Ambersons

Booth Tarkington

What's The Magnificent Ambersons about?

The Magnificent Ambersons is a novel by Booth Tarkington that explores the rise and fall of the Amberson family in a rapidly changing society. Focusing on the spoiled and arrogant George Amberson Minafer, the book delves into themes of progress, love, and the consequences of one's actions.

Who should read The Magnificent Ambersons?

  • Book lovers who enjoy classic American literature
  • Readers interested in exploring themes of societal change and progress
  • Those who appreciate character-driven stories with rich historical detail

36
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Known World by Edward P. Jones

The Known World

Edward P. Jones

What's The Known World about?

The Known World by Edward P. Jones is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the complex and often overlooked history of black slave owners in the antebellum South. Set in Virginia, the book challenges our understanding of power, freedom, and the legacy of slavery. Through rich storytelling and compelling characters, Jones paints a vivid picture of a world that is both familiar and hauntingly unfamiliar.

Who should read The Known World?

  • Readers who are interested in exploring the complexities of slavery and its impact on individuals
  • Those who appreciate rich and immersive storytelling that spans generations and perspectives
  • People who enjoy thought-provoking literature that challenges conventional narratives

37

What's The Orphan Master's Son about?

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson is a gripping novel set in North Korea. It follows the life of Pak Jun Do, a young man who grows up in an orphanage and later becomes a kidnapper for the state. Through Jun Do's journey, the book offers a rare glimpse into the secretive and oppressive regime of North Korea, exploring themes of identity, love, and the power of storytelling.

Who should read The Orphan Master's Son?

  • People interested in exploring the enigmatic and secretive world of North Korea
  • Readers who enjoy character-driven narratives with complex and morally ambiguous protagonists
  • Those looking for a thought-provoking and emotionally impactful story that challenges their perceptions

38
Pulitzer Prize Books: So Big by Edna Ferber

So Big

Edna Ferber

What's So Big about?

So Big by Edna Ferber is a classic novel that tells the story of Selina Peake, a determined and independent woman who becomes a successful farmer in the early 20th century. Through Selina's journey, the book explores themes of ambition, motherhood, and the pursuit of happiness. It is a timeless tale that reminds us to live life to the fullest and follow our dreams.

Who should read So Big?

  • Readers who enjoy classic literature with strong female protagonists
  • People interested in the challenges and triumphs of women in the early 20th century
  • Those who appreciate beautifully written descriptions of rural life and the human spirit

39
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Hours by Michael Cunningham

The Hours

Michael Cunningham

What's The Hours about?

The Hours by Michael Cunningham is a novel that weaves together the lives of three women from different time periods. It explores themes of identity, freedom, and the choices we make in life. Inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, the book delves into the inner thoughts and struggles of its characters, ultimately revealing the interconnectedness of their lives.

Who should read The Hours?

  • Readers who enjoy literary fiction and character-driven narratives
  • Those interested in exploring themes of identity, time, and the human experience
  • People who appreciate intricate storytelling and non-linear narratives

40
Pulitzer Prize Books: Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Breathing Lessons

Anne Tyler

What's Breathing Lessons about?

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler is a poignant novel that delves into the complexities of marriage and family. Set over the course of a single day, it follows the journey of Maggie and Ira as they drive to a friend's funeral. Through flashbacks and present-day events, the book explores the ups and downs of their relationship, revealing the deep-seated love and understanding that binds them together.

Who should read Breathing Lessons?

  • Readers interested in exploring the complexities of marriage and relationships
  • Individuals who enjoy character-driven stories that delve into the human experience
  • Those who appreciate subtle humor and keen observations about everyday life

41
Pulitzer Prize Books: Advise and Consent by Allen Drury

Advise and Consent

Allen Drury

What's Advise and Consent about?

Advise and Consent by Allen Drury is a gripping political novel that delves into the inner workings of the U.S. Senate. Set in the 1950s, it follows the controversial nomination of a Secretary of State and the intense power struggles, personal agendas, and moral dilemmas that unfold. With its rich character development and thought-provoking exploration of political ethics, this book offers a compelling look at the complexities of decision-making in government.

Who should read Advise and Consent?

  • Readers who enjoy political dramas and behind-the-scenes glimpses of government
  • Those interested in the complexities of power, intrigue, and ethical dilemmas in politics
  • Individuals who appreciate well-developed characters and thought-provoking storytelling

42
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Christopher A. Hubert

The Color Purple

Alice Walker, Christopher A. Hubert

What's The Color Purple about?

The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a powerful novel that explores the lives of African American women in the early 20th century. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Celie, the book delves into themes of racism, sexism, and the power of female relationships. It is a poignant and thought-provoking read that has left a lasting impact on its readers.

Who should read The Color Purple?

  • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful stories
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of race, gender, and resilience
  • Those looking to expand their understanding of the African American experience

43
Pulitzer Prize Books: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex

Jeffrey Eugenides

What's Middlesex about?

Middlesex is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides that tells the story of Calliope Stephanides, a hermaphrodite who grows up in Detroit. The book explores themes of identity, family, and the immigrant experience, as Calliope navigates her unique journey towards self-discovery and acceptance.

Who should read Middlesex?

  • Readers who enjoy multi-generational family sagas
  • Individuals interested in exploring themes of identity and gender
  • Those who appreciate richly detailed and thought-provoking storytelling

What's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay about?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon is a captivating novel that follows the extraordinary journey of two Jewish cousins, Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay, as they enter the world of comic book creation during the golden age of superheroes. Set against the backdrop of World War II, it beautifully weaves together themes of friendship, escape, and the power of imagination.

Who should read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and vivid storytelling
  • Those interested in the Golden Age of comic books and the creative process behind them
  • People who appreciate complex and deeply developed characters

45
Pulitzer Prize Books: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove

Larry McMurtry

What's Lonesome Dove about?

Lonesome Dove is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Larry McMurtry that takes readers on an epic journey through the American West. Set in the late 19th century, it follows a group of former Texas Rangers as they drive a herd of cattle from Texas to Montana. Filled with adventure, friendship, and tragedy, this timeless tale explores themes of loyalty, love, and the harsh realities of frontier life.

Who should read Lonesome Dove?

  • Readers who enjoy epic Western adventures
  • Those interested in exploring themes of friendship, courage, and the human spirit
  • People who appreciate richly developed characters and vivid storytelling

46

What's A Visit from the Goon Squad about?

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan is a unique and inventive novel that explores the interconnected lives of a group of characters in the music industry. Through a series of interconnected stories, Egan delves into themes of time, memory, and the passage of life, creating a rich and thought-provoking narrative.

Who should read A Visit from the Goon Squad?

  • Readers who enjoy non-linear storytelling
  • Those interested in the music industry and its impact on people's lives
  • Individuals who appreciate complex and flawed characters

47
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Town by Conrad Richter

The Town

Conrad Richter

What's The Town about?

The Town by Conrad Richter follows the lives of the Luckett family in the early 19th century as they build a home in the Ohio wilderness. As the town grows and changes around them, the family must adapt to new challenges and opportunities. This beautifully written novel explores themes of community, family, and the relentless march of progress.

Who should read The Town?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction and tales of early American settlement
  • Those with an interest in the challenges and triumphs of pioneering life
  • Individuals who appreciate richly detailed and vividly portrayed characters

48
Pulitzer Prize Books: Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Less

Andrew Sean Greer

What's Less about?

Less by Andrew Sean Greer is a witty and charming novel that follows the misadventures of Arthur Less, a struggling writer who embarks on a journey around the world to escape his problems. Filled with humor and poignant reflections, the book explores themes of love, aging, and the pursuit of happiness.

Who should read Less?

  • Anyone looking for a humorous and insightful exploration of the human condition
  • Readers who enjoy travel literature and exploring different cultures
  • People who appreciate well-crafted storytelling and memorable characters

49
Pulitzer Prize Books: The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer

The Executioner's Song

Norman Mailer

What's The Executioner's Song about?

The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer is a gripping true crime novel that tells the story of Gary Gilmore, a convicted murderer who becomes the first person to be executed in the United States after the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. Through extensive research and interviews, Mailer delves into Gilmore's troubled life, the events leading up to the murders, and the legal and moral debates surrounding his case. It is a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of justice, redemption, and the human condition.

Who should read The Executioner's Song?

  • Readers who are interested in true crime stories
  • Those looking for a deep exploration of the human psyche and criminal behavior
  • People who are curious about the complex moral and ethical questions surrounding the death penalty

50
Pulitzer Prize Books: March by Geraldine Brooks

March

Geraldine Brooks

What's March about?

March by Geraldine Brooks is a historical fiction novel that reimagines the story of the absent father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Set during the American Civil War, it follows Mr. March as he leaves his family to serve as a chaplain, and delves into the challenges and moral dilemmas he faces. Through beautiful prose and rich historical detail, the book offers a unique perspective on a familiar tale.

Who should read March?

  • Readers who enjoy historical fiction with a focus on the Civil War era
  • People interested in exploring the complexities of human nature and morality
  • Those who appreciate well-researched and thought-provoking narratives

51
Pulitzer Prize Books: John Adams by David McCullough

John Adams

David McCullough

What's John Adams about?

John Adams by David McCullough is a comprehensive biography that delves into the life and legacy of the second President of the United States. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, the book offers a vivid portrait of a pioneering and often misunderstood figure in American history.

Who should read John Adams?

  • History enthusiasts who want detailed insights into the life of a founding father
  • Readers interested in the early politics and government of the United States
  • Those who appreciate well-researched biographies with a compelling narrative

What's The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love about?

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos is a captivating novel that tells the story of two Cuban brothers who immigrate to New York City in the 1950s and become famous mambo musicians. Filled with vibrant characters and rich descriptions, the book explores themes of love, family, and the pursuit of the American dream.

Who should read The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love?

  • Readers who enjoy richly textured, character-driven narratives
  • Those with an interest in Cuban-American culture and history
  • Music lovers who appreciate the role of music in shaping people's lives

Related Topics

Pulitzer Prize Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Pulitzer Prize book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard The Remains of the Day as the ultimate read on Pulitzer Prize.

What are the Top 10 Pulitzer Prize books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Keepers of the House by Shirley Ann Grau
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser
  • Ironweed by William Kennedy
  • Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, George Eliot
  • Maus I: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman

Who are the top Pulitzer Prize book authors?

When it comes to Pulitzer Prize, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Shirley Ann Grau
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Steven Millhauser
  • William Kennedy