pulitzer prize

March by Geraldine Brooks

March by Geraldine Brooks

“If war can ever be said to be just, then this war is so; it is action for a moral cause, with the most rigorous of intellectual underpinnings. And yet everywhere I turn, I see injustice done in the waging of it. “ - March

In Louisa Alcott’s Little Women, Mr. March’s largest role in the narrative is that his daughters are perpetually waiting for his letters home. In March, Geraldine Brooks traces his story as he enlists to become a Union chaplain, experiences many horrors of war, and eventually finds himself tutoring freed slaves (“contraband”) on a destitute cotton plantation. His cheerful letters home to Marmee contrast with the terrible details he confides to the reader but does not write home about: the pervasive racism; cruelty; and suffering that he encounters in a number of different encounters.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond reviews parts of history in order to theorize how different cultures became civilization's haves and how others became its have-nots. Diamond is a biologist, and here he seeks to explain why Eurasians--rather than Native Americans, Africans, and Native Australians--became successful conquerors. Diamond argues that rather than race and culture, factors such as food production and animal domestication allowed Eurasians to economically dominate the world.

The Corpse Had a Familiar Face: Covering Miami, America's Hottest Beat

By Edna Buchanan

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For eighteen years, Pulitzer Prize-winner Edna Buchanan had one of the most exciting, frightening, and heartbreaking jobs a newspaperwoman could have -- working the police beat for the Miami Herald. Having covered more crimes than most cops, Buchanan garnered a reputation as a savvy, gritty writer with a unique point of view and inimitable style. Now, back in print after many years, The Corpse Had a Familiar Face is her classic collection of true stories, as witnessed and reported by Buchanan herself. From cold-blooded murder, to violence in the heat of passion, to the everyday insanity of the city streets, Edna Buchanan reveals it all in her own trademark blend of compassionate reporting, hard-nosed investigation, and wry humor that has made her a legend in the world of journalism.

 

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Long Time Ago: American Songs

By Aaron Copland

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This tall, slender man is considered by many to be the greatest American composer of the 20th century. His most famous work is about two minutes long - "Fanfare for the Common Man." His most notable compositions are the music for the ballets "Billy the Kid", "Rodeo", and "Appalachian Spring", the last for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He also received an Academy Award for the music he wrote for the film "The Heiress." "Long Time Ago" is what could be called art songs of the twentieth century. The 1st and 2nd sections are beautifully orchestrated versions of folk songs. In the "Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson", Copland has captured the essence of her poems. Both American soloists, Thomas Hampson, baritone, and Dawn Upshaw, soprano,are both among the finest singers in the world. Copland quotation - "To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."

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Foreign Affairs

By Alison Lurie

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"Virginia Miner, a fifty-something, unmarried tenured professor, is in London to work on her new book about children's folk rhymes. Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. But in spite of that, she is drawn into a mortifying and oddly satisfying affair with an Oklahoman tourist who dresses more Bronco Billy than Beau Brummel. Also in London is Vinnie's colleague Fred Turner, a handsome, flat broke, newly separated, and thoroughly miserable young man trying to focus on his own research. Instead, he is distracted by a beautiful and unpredictable English actress and the world she belongs to. Both American, both abroad, and both achingly lonely, Vinnie and Fred play out their confused alienation and dizzying romantic liaisons in Alison Lurie's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel."
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A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories

By Richard Olen Butler

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A compelling chorus of voices that together depict the experiences of the many Vietnamese expatriates living in America.

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Tortilla Flat

By John Steinbeck

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Adopting the structure and themes of the Arthurian legend, Steinbeck created a "Camelot" on a shabby hillside above Monterey on the California coast and peopled it with a colorful band of knights. As Steinbeck chronicles their thoughts and emotions, temptations and lusts, he spins a tale as compelling, and ultimately as touched by sorrow, as the famous legends of the Round Table.
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The Bridge of San Luis Rey

By Thornton Wilder

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On Friday noon, July the Twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below.

"With this celebrated sentence Thornton Wilder begins 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey,' one of the towering achievements in American fiction and a novel read throughout the world. By chance, a monk witnesses the tragedy. Brother Juniper then embarks on a quest to prove that it was divine intervention rather than chance that led to the deaths of those who perished in the tragedy. His search leads to his own death -- and to the author's timeless investigation into the nature of love and the meaning of the human condition."

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Middlesex

By Jeffrey Eugenides

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"This book begins with the narrator, Calliope Stephanides, explaining that he was "born twice," first as a baby girl in 1960, then as a teenage boy in 1974. To explain his situation, Cal starts in 1922, when his grandparents came to America. In his role as the "prefetal narrator," he tells the love story of this couple, who are brother and sister; his parents are blood relatives as well. Then he tells his own story, which is that of a female child growing up in suburban Detroit with typical adolescent concerns. The story questions what it is that makes us who we are and concludes that one's inner essence stays the same, even in light of drastic outer changes."

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Ironweed

By William Kennedy

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"Francis Phelan, ex-ballplayer, part-time gravedigger, full-time drunk, has hit bottom. Years ago he left Albany in a hurry after killing a scab during a trolley workers' strike; he ran away again after accidentally - and fatally - dropping his infant son. Now, in 1938, Francis is back in town, roaming the old familiar streets with his hobo pal, Helen, trying to make peace with the ghosts of the past and the present..."
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