Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger with the Pulitzer Prize, a list of this year’s award winners and finalists has been leaked a full two weeks before their scheduled announcement on April 15.
It has been a trying season for the prestigious award, now in its 97th year. On February 22, the business site Quartz obtained and published a partial list of the Pulitzer’s top secret jury (and Muckrack invited curious readers to search for any telltale tweets). Now it seems that one of those same jurors burning the midnight oil in prize deliberations at Columbia University last Friday night had made notes of the finalized list in his cell phone, which he then left in a nearby cafe. The list wound up in the hands of a community blogger, who published it on Easter morning; the authenticity of the list has since been confirmed. As surprising as the leak itself was, the real shocker may be some of this year’s award winners, sure to prove even more controversial than last year’s.
Many of the journalism awards came as no surprise, The New York Times racking up its 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, 113th and 114th Pulitzers across an array of categories, although some were puzzled by the debut of a new category, the feuilleton. (Asked for comment, this year’s feuilleton prize winner Jenny Lawson said “I don’t even know what a feuilleton is. I’m a blogger.”) But it was the prizes for Letters, Drama and Music that had jaws dropping with their startling and unprecidented concessions to popular taste, fueling speculation that something must have gone seriously haywire with this year’s selection process. Here’s a taste:
- General Non-Fiction: Mastery, by Robert Greene
- Biography/Autobiography: Sweet Revenge: The intimate life of Simon Cowell, by Tom Bower
- Fiction: Fifty Shades Freed, by E L James
- Investigative Reporting: Past Lives of the Rich and Famous, by Sylvia Browne
- History: The Wind Through the Keyhole (Dark Tower 4.5), by Stephen King
- Drama: Don’t Trust the B—– in Apartment 23, by Nahnatchka Khan
- Poetry: I Could Pee on This, and other poems by cats, Francesco Marciuliano, ed.
- Music: Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepson
Find the complete list of the 2013 Pulitzer winners and nominees here.