Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pulitzer Prediction: Best of 2017 Fiction?

Tomorrow is Pulitzer Day, and as usual, I'm all a-flutter. Got that ceremonial feeling. Where's my evening gown and long white gloves? Where's my tiara? If I turn up the couch cushions, is there enough money for a trip to the beauty salon?

There's a spot on my Pulitzer fiction shelf carved out for the 2017 winner. What will it be? I have no idea. Actually, I never have any idea. That's what makes this so fun; the anticipation is heightened.

My prediction? For months, I've been staunchly backing Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I don't know how it comes across on the page -- if it could wow the enigmatic committee -- but as an audiobook, it knocked me out. I cried while listening to the book (which was awkward, because I listen to my audiobooks in the car) then I cried again while describing the book to a friend while we were at the drive-in. He passed me tissues and onion rings and looked alarmed. Thinking back, I sort of  feel like weeping again, so Lincoln in the Bardo...yes, please, please, please.

That being said, there are a couple of other strong contenders. If the following books won, I not only could smile bravely, I could unreservedly feel pleased for them:

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee. I absolutely lost myself in this multi-generational family saga of Koreans struggling to make a good life in Japan. I have a copy of this excellent novel and would be proud to move it to the place of honor on my bookshelf.

A Book of American Martyrs - Joyce Carol Oates. In this case, I'm thinking more of JCO than her novel based on the abortion divide in America. I wish that she could lose her bridesmaid status regarding the Pulitzer fiction prize. She should have won for Black Water back in the early 1990s. Maybe 2018 is her year.

Twenty-four-and-a-half hours until announcements are made. I can hardly wait.

1 comment:

Unruly Reader said...

Oh my land — laughing (in solidarity) at the thought of crying at the drive-in over Lincoln in the Bardo. I adore this.

Fingers crossed!