On Monday, Columbia University announced the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners, but two categories was notably absent from the list. No winner was awarded for the editorial writing category, but more notably, there was no prize for fiction — previously won by such canonical works as “The Grapes of Wrath” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
It’s the first time since 1977 that the judges have declined to name a winner in this category. Certainly, there has been outrage and surprise expressed on via social media, with some tweeters suggesting that the lack of an award points to a decline in the quality of published works.
The jurors for the prize were Maureen Corrigan, Michael Cunningham, and Susan Larson. According to The Daily Beast, the finalists they chose in the fiction category were the unfinished “The Pale King,” a posthumous work by David Foster Wallace, Karen Russell’s “Swamplandia!”, and the Denis Johnson novella “Train Dreams.” Those nominations were submitted to the Pulitzer Prize board of 20 journalists and academics, who failed to come to a majority vote on the matter.
The full list of Pulitzer Prize winners for this year is available at the official site.