The Pulitzers Reading List
Bookshelf Go Home

Update: Feb 25, 2019
Ha, just so you know, I didn't make it in a single year. It is 8 years later and I am finally updating the website. I will taking up this chore again in 2019. Stay tuned.....

The Goal

In a single year (2011) read the entire list of novels that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.


Why not? I read a lot anyway. I typically read 200-250 books a year, so this is really not a stretch. And I get to read some good books.

The List

Here is the official list of winners from the Pulitzer website.

The Best of the Best

For you folks out there who don't have the time to read all the books (And who would want to?), here is my top ten list.

  1. The Old Man and the Sea (1953)
  2. A Bell for Adano (1945)
  3. Gone With the Wind (1937)
  4. Laughing Boy (1930)
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird (1961)
  6. The Caine Mutiny (1952)
  7. All the Kings Men (1947)
  8. The Good Earth (1932)
  9. Lonesome Dove (1986)
  10. Killer Angels (1975)

(Editors Note (2024): Why isn't Steinbeck on the list?, well, because 'Of Mice and Men' was published in 1937 compteting with 'Gone With the Wind'. Steinbeck and Hemingway are fabulous writers with lousy timing on some their best books. Mark Twain? Well he dies in 1910 before the Pulitzers get started, but Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer would have made it into the top 5 of my list. Read them! Also of note, Irving Stone ('The Agony and the Ecstasy') loses against Harper Lee in 1961.

The Reviews

I read 'em so you don't have to. Below is a list of quick reviews of each book I read. If I didn't read the book, there is no link to a review (click on the year). Some books I just couldn't easily get ahold of. I may in the future do a library search for some of the missing ones.

Year AuthorTitle
1917no award 
1918Ernest Poole His Family
1919Booth Tarkington The Magnificent Ambersons
1920no award 
1921Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence
1922Booth Tarkington Alice Adams
1923Willa Cather One of Ours
1924Margaret Wilson The Able McLaughlins
1925Edna Ferber So Big
1926Sinclair Lewis Arrowsmith
1927Louis Bromfield Early Autumn
1928Thornton Wilder The Bridge of San Luis Rey
1929Julia Peterkin Scarlet Sister Mary
1930Oliver LaFarge Laughing Boy
1931Margaret Ayer Barnes Years of Grace
1932Pearl S. Buck The Good Earth
1933T. S. Stribling The Store
1934Caroline Miller Lamb in His Bosom
1935Josephine Winslow Johnson Now in November
1936Harold L. Davis Honey in the Horn
1937Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind
1938John Phillips Marquand The Late George Apley
1939Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings The Yearling
1940John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath
1941no award 
1942Ellen Glasgow In This Our Life
1943Upton Sinclair Dragon's Teeth
1944Martin Flavin Journey in the Dark
1945John Hersey A Bell for Adano
1946no award 
1947Robert Penn Warren All the King's Men
1948James A. Michener Tales of the South Pacific
1949James Gould Cozzens Guard of Honor
1950A. B. GuthrieThe Way West
1951Conrad Richter The Town
1952Herman Wouk The Caine Mutiny
1953Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea
1954no award 
1955William Faulkner A Fable
1956MacKinlay Kantor Andersonville
1957no award 
1958James Agee A Death In The Family
1959Robert Lewis Taylor The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
1960Allen Drury Advise and Consent
1961Harper Lee To Kill A Mockingbird
1962Edwin O'Connor The Edge of Sadness
1963William Faulkner The Reivers
1964no award 
1965Shirley Ann Grau The Keepers Of The House
1966Katherine Anne Porter Collected Stories
1967Bernard Malamud The Fixer
1968William Styron The Confessions of Nat Turner
1969N. Scott Momaday House Made of Dawn
1970Jean Stafford Collected Stories
1971no award 
1972Wallace Stegner Angle of Repose
1973Eudora Welty The Optimists Daughter
1974no award 
1975Michael Shaara The Killer Angels
1976Saul Bellow Humboldt's Gift
1977no award 
1978James Alan McPherson Elbow Room
1979John Cheever The Stories of John Cheever
1980Norman Mailer The Executioner's Song
1981John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces
1982John Updike Rabbit Is Rich
1983Alice Walker The Color Purple
1984William Kennedy Ironweed
1985Alison Lurie Foreign Affairs
1986Larry McMurtry Lonesome Dove
1987Peter Taylor A Summons to Memphis
1988Toni Morrison Beloved
1989Anne Tyler Breathing Lessons
1990Oscar Hijuelos The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love
1991John Updike Rabbit At Rest
1992Jane Smiley A Thousand Acres
1993Robert Olen Butler A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
1994E. Annie Proulx The Shipping News
1995Carol Shields The Stone Diaries
1996Richard Ford Independence Day
1997Steven Millhauser Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer
1998Philip Roth American Pastoral
1999Michael Cunningham The Hours
2000Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies
2001Michael Chabon The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
2002Richard Russo Empire Falls
2003Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex
2004Edward P. Jones The Known World
2005Marilynne Robinson Gilead
2006Geraldine Brooks March
2007Cormac McCarthy The Road
2008Junot Diaz The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
2009Elizabeth Strout Olive Kitteridge
2010Paul HardingTinkers
2011Jennifer EganA Visit from the Goon Squad
2012no award 
2013Adam JohnsonThe Orphan Master's Son
2014Donna TarttThe Goldfinch
2015Anthony DoerrAll the Light We Cannot See
2016Viet Thanh NguyenThe Sympathizer
2017Colin WhiteheadThe Underground Railroad
2018Andrew Sean GreerLess

The Hugos

How do the best fiction novels of the year stack up with the best science fiction novels of the year? Check it out here .

A Postscript

(Editors Note: this was originally written in in 2011, I left it in for historical amusement.)

You didn't really think that the list was all that I read this year? If nothing else, I am a voracious and onmivorous reader. I never keep track, but below is a sampling of other random things.

  The Pulitzers Reading List
Bookshelf Go Home