Saturday, April 05, 2008

Pulitzer Fiction Predictions

I'm usually no good at this sort of thing, but I've come down with an advanced case of Pulitzer Fever, and can hardly wait till the 2008 winners for fiction (and everything else) are announced on April 7.

My fiction predictions:

A Thousand Splendid Suns. If I were betting, my money would be on Khaled Hosseini. In 2 consecutive novels, he has increased understanding and sympathy of the problems in Afghanistan that have been going on since the late 1970s. Relating these events in conjunction with characters we can care deeply about seem to make him the front runner. Besides, there hasn't been anyone with an exotic name since Jhumpa Lahiri for Interpreter Of Maladies back in 2000.

Tree Of Smoke. Denis Johnson's been around for a while, written lots of "serious" fiction and I guess he's paid his dues. I find him slightly reader-unfriendly, but that didn't stop James Gould Cozzens from winning with Guard Of Honor back in 1949.

Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris has gotten a lot of recognition, but it's a first novel. The workplace setting and the peculiar first person plural narration might be fresh and quirky enough to garner a win. I'll have to go back and scan the list and see how satires fare overall.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union. Michael Chabon won back in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay -- would they give it to him again? John Updike, William Faulkner and Booth Tarkington all got it twice.

Are you a closet (or uncloseted) Pulitzer Prize groupie? I'd love to hear your predictions!


Literary Feline said...

It was not until I entered the blogging community that I really became conscious of the different book awards. I still don't follow them all too closely although I do enjoy hearing who the winners are.

Dewey said...

Hmm, it never occurred to me to try to predict! Of your guesses, I have read zero. However! I have read the previous books of two of them, so I can pretend to be informed enough to guess. So I'll pick A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Anonymous said...

ummmm....A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner were both about AFGHANISTAN, not IRAQ.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a runaway commercial success (usually not a good Pulitzer predictor) - though it is an amazing book.

Also Tree of Smoke won the NBA - which rarely also wins the Pulizer.

I agree with the Then We Came to the End, by Joshua Ferris - it has a very good shot.

You might also want to think about Man Gone Down, by Michael Thomas - another outside shot. It deals with racism - a popular topic for Pulitzer committees.

Bybee said...

Literary Feline,
Yeah, I got into the awards more when I started blogging, too.

If we're right, this will be exciting.

Thank you for pointing out my stupid mistake...I'm in your debt re the country mix-up...and I even read both books! This is the point where my co-workers would slag me for being a typical American...

You're right, A Thousand Splendid Suns did do well commercially.

I'm almost tempted to change to the Ferris novel. It reflects our times well, with its setting, the American workplace and the satire reflects our love of all things smartass.

If Man Gone Down gets the nod, you should feel proud of yourself for predicting so accurately and head for Vegas!