The winners in the major fiction and nonfiction categories have been highlighted below. The other finalists follow.
No award given. The Pulitzer Prize administrator Sig Gissler noted: "The three books were fully considered, but in the end, none mustered the mandatory majority for granting a prize, so no prize was awarded. ... This is the 11th time this has happened in the fiction category; the last time was 1977. It's unusual, but it does occur."
TRAIN DREAMS | DENIS JOHNSON ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION Nov/Dec 2011)
SWAMPLANDIA! | KAREN RUSSELL ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION May/June 2011)
THE PALE KING | DAVID FOSTER WALLACE ([EXCELLENT] July/Aug 2011)
A Life of Reinvention
By Manning Marable
Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X are two of the most recognized black political figures of the 20th century. But now that the United States has an African-American president, has the message of the nonviolent King completely eclipsed that of the combative Malcolm X? Not as Manning Marable tells it. Drawing upon a bevy of new material and his decades of scholarly experience, Marable's new biography of Malcolm X ties the leader's short, turbulent life to forces that still shape America today. ([EXCELLENT] SELECTION July/Aug 2011)
EMPIRES, NATIONS & FAMILIES: A HISTORY OF THE NORTH AMERICAN WEST, 1800-1860 | ANNE F. HYDE
THE ELEVENTH DAY: THE FULL STORY OF 9/11 AND OSAMA BIN LADEN | ANTHONY SUMMERS AND ROBBYN SWAN
RAILROADED: THE TRANSCONTINENTALS AND THE MAKING OF MODERN AMERICA | RICHARD WHITE ([EXCELLENT] Sept/Oct 2011)
BIOGRAPHY OR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
GEORGE F. KENNAN
An American Life
By John Lewis Gaddis
Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis began this history of the great Cold War strategist 30 years ago, and drawing on extensive interviews, he delves deep inside the man who developed U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union for nearly half a century (and then criticized his own containment policy) and led a complex, even contradictory, personal and public life. Though Gaddis has written about the Cold War in other acclaimed books, of note are Kennan's own personal reflections on the Cold War.