NEW YORK–Colson Whitehead, Hilton Als, Lynn Nottage, Tyehimba Jess, each took home the Pulitzer Prize for their work, the Pulitzer Prize
Committee announced Monday.
Whitehead won Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel “The Underground Railroad.” The Pulitzer committee said the novel combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America. “The Underground Railroad” also won the National Book Award.
Als, a writer for The New Yorker, won the Pulitzer for “Criticism.” The committee praised Als “For bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.”
Nottage won the Pulitzer for Drama for her play “Sweat.” The Pulitzer committee called it a powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.
“Sweat” is about deindustrialization in Reading, Pa. and how it affects residents. The play is currently on Broadway.
This is Nottage’s second Pulitzer. She won in 2009 for “Ruined” a play about rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Tyehimba Jess received the Pulitzer for Poetry for “Olio,” his second book of poetry. The book, part fact, part fiction, examines the lives of mostly unrecorded African-American performers. A Detroit native, Jess graduated from the University of Chicago.
Each winner received $15,000.