Writers of African Descent to Win Pulitzer Prizes (includes Finalists)

Pulitzer Prize Medal

Since 1917 the Pulitzer Prize has honored excellence in journalism and the arts. The first award was presented in 1918. The Prize recognizes American authors in six “Letters and Drama” categories; Biography/Autobiography, Fiction, General Non-Fiction, History, Poetry, and Drama (technically not a book award, but plays are all available as books and have been included here).

The first African-American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in any of the above categories was Gwendolyn Brooks who received the award for poetry for her collection Annie Allen in 1950.

3 Books were Finalists or Winners of Pulitzer Prizes in 2015

Winner - Poetry

Digest (Stahlecker Selections)
by Gregory Pardlo

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $15.95
    Format: Paperback, 84 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9781935536505
    Imprint: Four Way
    Publisher: Four Way
    Parent Company: Four Way
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    Read a Description of Digest (Stahlecker Selections)

    Book Description: 
    From Epicurus to Sam Cooke, the Daily News to Roots, Digest draws from the present and the past to form an intellectual, American identity. In poems that forge their own styles and strategies, we experience dialogues between the written word and other art forms. Within this dialogue we hear Ben Jonson, we meet police K-9s, and we find children negotiating a sense of the world through a father’s eyes and through their own.

    Winner - Drama

    Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
    by Suzan-Lori Parks

      Publication Date:
      List Price: $14.95
      Format: Paperback, 192 pages
      Classification: Fiction
      ISBN13: 9781559365000
      Imprint: Theatre Communications Group
      Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
      Parent Company: Theatre Communications Group
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      Read a Description of Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)

      Book Description: Finalist, 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama “The finest work yet from this gifted writer.”The New York TimesOffered his freedom if he joins his master in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, a slave, must choose whether to leave the woman and pe

      Finalist - Fiction

      The Moor’s Account
      by Laila Lalami

        Publication Date:
        List Price: $15.95
        Format: Paperback, 336 pages
        Classification: Nonfiction
        ISBN13: 9780804170628
        Imprint: Vintage Books
        Publisher: Penguin Random House
        Parent Company: Bertelsmann and Pearson PLC
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        Read a Description of The Moor’s Account

        Book Description: 

        A New York Times Notable Book
        A Wall Street Journal Top 10 Book of the Year
        An NPR Great Read of 2014
        A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of the Year

        In these pages, Laila Lalami brings us the imagined memoirs of the first black explorer of America: Mustafa al-Zamori, called Estebanico. The slave of a Spanish conquistador, Estebanico sails for the Americas with his master, Dorantes, as part of a danger-laden expedition to Florida. Within a year, Estebanico is one of only four crew members to survive.
        As he journeys across America with his Spanish companions, the Old World roles of slave and master fall away, and Estebanico remakes himself as an equal, a healer, and a remarkable storyteller. His tale illuminates the ways in which our narratives can transmigrate into history—and how storytelling can offer a chance at redemption and survival.

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