Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Pulitzer is Too Awesome to be Awarded

Saw an interesting article (here) in which Ann Patchett talked about the fact that the Pulitzer for Fiction will not be awarded this year.  No one was good enough.  Apparently this has happened on ten other occasions in the last century. 

I'm not sure how I feel about this.  It kind of makes me feel like they think the prestige of their award is more important than celebrating literature when the entire purpose of their award should be celebrating literary voices.  Because the idea that of all the books that are published in a year not a single one of them deserves to be celebrated... it's like shoving nettles under my skin. 

Obviously I'm not a candidate for the Pulitzer.  I don't have a horse in this race.  But it still rankles.  To decline to award the prize feels like they are looking at every writer working today and telling all of us that we aren't good enough to be respected by them.  Now, I know they would never respect a romance author, but the idea that ALL OF US, in all our beautiful glory, filled with variety and wit and bright ideas and fresh execution and blood sweat and tears... that not one of us has stood up to be recognized by their oh-so-illustrious panel of awesomesauce. 

Maybe I'm not looking at this the right way.  Help me look at this in a way that doesn't paint the Pulitzer folks as total douchebags, would you?  Tell me how to see this right.


Kali Robaina said...

Found this article interesting. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/17/pulitzer-board-awards-no-fiction-prize-angering-jurors.html

I gathered that the jury had no trouble finding wonderful books and made some tough decisions to narrow it down to 3 finalists. But then the board stalled most likely (though still inexcusably) because they couldn't agree on a winner.

Vivi Andrews said...

I get that it's hard to pick one Most Awesome book, but I just hate the implication of not awarding it. Why not award a tie? Two in one year is better to me than none. Because not giving out a prize does not scream, "You're all just too awesome" to me. I'd be ticked if I were a finalist. I'd rather have someone else get it when I was short-listed than have no one get it. But that's just me.