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Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction


In 1904, Joseph Pulitzer made provision in his will for establishing the Pulitzer Prizes--to recognize excellence in writing. Since 1917, famous American writers like Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Pearl Buck, Thornton Wilder, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and many others have received the award. Here are a few of those most famous novels!

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1. The Age Of Innocence

by Edith Wharton. Published in 1920, "The Age Of Innocence" is a love story--filled with high society and tragedy. Can freedom be found? And, what about the innocence? This is a novel about Archer, countess Ellen Olenska, May Welland, and others in New York aristocracy. Discover why this novel has been regarded as Wharton's greatest accomplishment.
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2. One of Ours

by Willa Cather. Published in 1922, "One of Ours" is about the making of a young soldier, Claude Wheeler. He discovers what he's been searching for when he fights in World War I.
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3. So Big

Edna Ferber's "So Big" received the Pulitzer Prize in 1924, and is considered by many to be the author's most popular work. She created the work for herself. She said, "I wrote my book because I wanted to write it more than anything in the world."

4. Arrowsmith

by Sinclair Lewis. Published in 1925, "Arrowsmith" is a novel about a young scientist and medical student, Martin Arrowsmith. It's also the novel that won Lewis the Pulitzer Prize, which he refused to accept. He was later awarded the Nobel Prize.

5. Bridge of San Luis Rey

by Thornton Wilder. What happens when a bridge collapses and five people are killed? In this Pulitzer-prize winning novel, the famous author of "Our Town" follows the tale of a young priest who tells about the lives and stories of the five who died.
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6. The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck. The author finished this novel in three months. Her parents were missionaries in China, and she based her novel on what she observed and experienced while living in China.
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7. Gone With The Wind

by Margaret Mitchell. "Gone with the Wind" was first published in 1936, and it was met with immediate success. This historical novel centers around Scarlett O'Hara, who faces many challenges during (and after) the Civil War.
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8. The Grapes Of Wrath

John Steinbeck became known as an important American writer with his epic novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" (1939), for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940.
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9. The Old Man and the Sea

by Ernest Hemingway. "The Old Man and the Sea" is a novella of epic proportions--set against the backdrop of the wide ocean. Santiago struggles for three days to defeat the marlin. The anonymous narrator says, "He no longer dreamed of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife."
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10. To Kill A Mockingbird

by Harper Lee. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a famous (and controversial) book set during the Depression in the South. We see as the crisis builds to dramatic conclusions--through the eyes of Scout Finch. What do we learn by walking around in the skin of another?
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