You Absolutely Must Read 6 Pulitzer Prize Winning Books

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Incredible Pulitzer Prize Winners!

In this article, we're rounded up a few of our all-time favorite Pulizter Prize-winning fiction novels for your reading pleasure! Each of these novels is engaging, thought-provoking, and important to literature. While all that is great, let's first dive into what the Pulitzer Prize is so you can see why these six books are held in such high esteem!

The Pulitzer Prize is a yearly award in the United States that began in 1917. In newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer's will, he left money for the foundation of the awards, and the rest is history! Well, sort of. While the Prize began with just four categories, there are currently 21 Pulitzer Prize categories across literature, journalism, and musical composition.

Because there is only one winner for each of the 21 Pulitzer Prize categories each year, it's a pretty big deal to win one! Not every fiction winner will be for everyone, but we searched the list and present to you six unique, diverse books we think you'll enjoy. Happy reading!


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1. Beloved by Toni Morrison

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Beloved is perhaps Toni Morrison's most popular novel. Though it is an emotionally difficult novel it is one that deserves to be read. It is the tale of Sethe, a woman who manages to escape slavery with her children and make it Ohio. When her former enslaver catches up with her, Sethe is forced to make a decision that will forever haunt her.

2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

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Don't let the page count of Donna Tart's The Goldfinch deter you from reading the book. At just 13, Theo Decker has lost his mother during an accident that he survived and was left by his father. A wealthy family friend takes him in and Theo grows up lonely, isolated, and obsessed with a small painting. As an adult, Theo winds up in some of the darkest corners of New York in this tale of loss.

3. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Interpreter of Maladies is Jhumpa Lahiri's Pulitzer Prize-winning debut short story collection that tells the stories of Indian and Indian Americans. In nine short stories, Lahiri delves into the immigrant experience unique to Indians, navigating life in the United States as a second generation immigrant, and more. At the heart, each tale is love.

4. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad was a book that totally blew my expectations away. Living on a Georgian cotton plantation, Cora is considered an outcast by the other enslaved people on the plantation. After Caesar arrives from Virginia and urges Cora to join the Underground Railroad, the reader is entreated to learn that in Whitehead's retelling, the Underground Railroad is literally what it sounds like.

5. House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

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After World War II, Abel, a young Pueblo man, returns home to find that his problems aren't over. Abel finds himself caught between two worlds, struggling to find his footing. To assimilate into the greater American culture means losing his culture and identity, but it may also mean survival.

6. The Hours by Michael Cunningham

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Three stories intertwine in Michael Cunningham's The Hours. This includes author Virginia Woolf in 1923 as she writes Mrs. Dalloway; Clarissa Vaughan, a woman throwing a party for a poet friend dying of AIDS; and Laura Brown, a woman who flounders under the pressure of crafting the perfect home. By the end of The Hours, their stories "finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace."

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