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Colson Whitehead Wins Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for The Underground Railroad

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Colson Whitehead won the top award in American literature on Monday, receiving the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel The Underground Railroad. The story of slaves escaping via a literal railroad had previously won the National Book Award and was selected as part of Oprah’s Book Club. Fellow finalists in the fiction category were Adam Haslett for Imagine Me Gone and C.E. Morgan for The Sport of Kings.

Lynn Nottage took home the prize in drama for Sweat, which has already been received as perhaps the first notable play of the Trump era. Hisham Matar’s The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between won the prize for biography, Heather Ann Thompson’s Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy won for history, and Matthew Desmond’s Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City won for general nonfiction. The poetry prize went to Tyehimba Jess’s Olio and the music prize went to Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone.

Read more: An excerpt from Thompson’s Blood in the Water

In journalism, the New York Daily News and ProPublica shared the public service award for their reporting on eviction rules. Three awards went to work that appeared in the New York Times and two to the Miami Herald. The New Yorker‘s Hilton Als won the prize for criticism, and the Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan won for commentary.

Read the full list of winners here.

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