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Pulitzer Prize For Fiction
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers; the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. (No Novel prize was awarded in 1917; the first was awarded in 1918.)
Finalists have been announced since 1980, ordinarily a total of three.
In 31 years under the "Novel" name, the prize was awarded 27 times; in its first 69 years to 2016 under the "Fiction" name, 62 times. In 11 years, no novel received the award. It has never been shared by two authors. Three writers have won two prizes each in the Fiction category: Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner, and John Updike.
Three writers to date have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction multiple times, one nominally in the novel category and two in the general fiction category. Ernest Hemingway was selected by the 1941 and 1953 juries, but the former was overturned and no 1941 award was given.[b]
^First-time fiction juror Stuart P. Sherman initially recommended Joseph Hergesheimer's Java Head for the award; he rescinded his recommendation when the other jurors informed him that the word "whole" in a key phrase of the original description of the award, "the whole atmosphere of American life", had been subsequently been changed to "wholesome".
^Though Apartment in Athens by Glenway Wescott, The Wayfarers by Dan Wickenden, and Black Boy by Richard Wright were each championed by at least one juror, the jury as a whole could not reach a consensus; one point of contention over Black Boy specifically was that the book is a memoir, not a novel.
^"Among the books the judges most seriously considered were the following: (1) Norman Fruchter's Coat Upon a Stick..., (2) May Sarton's novella Joanna and Ulysses..., (3) Sumner Locke Elliott's Careful, He Might Hear You..., [and] (4) John Killens' And Then We Heard the Thunder... If a prize were to be awarded for a 1963 novel we felt these to be the most serious candidates." However, the fiction jury ultimately recommended that no award be given because "no one of them imposes itself upon us as demanding recognition as 'distinguished fiction'...."
^ abcdMcDowell, Edwin. "PUBLISHING: PULITZER CONTROVERSIES". The New York Times. Retrieved . [I]n 1941, after both the jury and the board voted to give the fiction prize to Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia and ex-officio chairman of the board, forced the board to change its vote because he found the book offensive.