The 2012 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced April 16, and the big surprise wasn’t who won, but who didn’t: for the first time since 1977, no Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded. . . .
For fiction, the finalists, revealed at the same time as the award announcements, were Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Knopf), and The Pale King by David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown). But the board, for only the ninth time since the prize’s inception in 1918, did not award a winner. Susan Larson, Maureen Corrigan, and Michael Cunningham were this year’s fiction jury.
Larson, interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, stated that the jury was “shocked, angry, and very disappointed” that the Pulitzer board did not select a winner. In the interview, Larson said she and her two fellow jurors read over 300 books for the prize and that the board’s deliberations “are confidential and they don’t give us feedback.” The hope now, Larson said, is that people will now “read three books instead of one.”