And the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction goes to… A book of short stories!
Elizabeth Strout has won the 2009 Pulitzer for her volume of interconnected fiction, Olive Kitteridge. Only five times since 1948 has the fiction prize gone to a book of short fiction (by my count) – collected stories by Katherine Anne Porter, John Cheever, Jean Stafford, and most recently to Jhumpa Lahiri for Interpreter of Maladies.
On behalf of every writer I know – poets, novelists, memoirists – who all write short fiction in addition to whatever else, I would like to thank these three forward-thinking, fearless judges for bucking convention:
Susan Larson, book editor, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans (Chair)
R.H. W. Dillard, professor, Jackson Center for Creative Writing, Hollins University, Roanoke, VA
Nancy Pearl, author and librarian, Center for the Book, Seattle Public Library
Thank you, for your part in helping shift light toward a senselessly under-recognized genre.
Publishers and agents, take note!
– Sarah Stonich