What are the best Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction?

asked by Anonymous
328 contributors
16 solutions
  1. 35

    #1To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.
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    Lauren Lee
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "This is great and I would recommend this to most people. I like this from a overall stand point."
  2. 32

    #2The Color Purple

    The Color Purple
    Set deep in the American South, The Color Purple by Alice Walker is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. After living a very hard life, she starts to discover joy and the power of her own spirit.
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    Henry Ray
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is a great movie with a great character. It is sometimes dark and gritty."
  3. 31

    #3The Good Earth

    The Good Earth

    Pearl S. Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Good Earth is about the life of a poor Chinese farmer. Through drought and flood, Wang Lung and his family, as do other peasant farmers, struggle to make ends meet.

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    Rebecca Lewis
    Written on February 12, 2018
    "I was just so enthralled with this story I literally couldn't put it down. It's definitely one of the best books I've read in at least a few years. "
  1. 29

    #4The Old Man and the Sea

    The Old Man and the Sea

    The Old Man and the Sea tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago and his supreme ordeal with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway. 

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    Héctor Galindo
    Written on April 1, 2018
    "The Old Man and the Sea is a great book that is a must read for everybody. Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for this one. It is a classic American novel."
  2. 27

    #5The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence

    In Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence, Newland Archer must choose between social stability, as embodied by the wealthy socialite May Welland, or passion in the form of Ellen Olenska.

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    Brenda Martin
    Written on March 8, 2018
    "A documentary of a culture, and love story all wrapped into one! The novel is rich and full of lessons about love. "
  3. 25

    #6Middlesex

    Middlesex
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides follows the life of a hermaphrodite who grew up as Calliope but became Cal in his teens. This novel won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2003.
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    Eugene Day
    Written on February 19, 2018
    "Middlesex is an interesting fiction novel. The story is very long so don't expect to finish it all in one sitting."
  4. 24

    #7Lonesome Dove

    Lonesome Dove
    Lonesome Dove is the winner of the 1986 Pulitzer Prize. Set in the American West during the late 19th century, it follows the story of retired Texas Rangers as they herd cattle from Texas to Montana.
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    Albert Gray
    Written on February 17, 2018
    "I've made it a life goal to read every Pulitzer Prize winner that I can get my hands on and "Lonesome Dove" ended up being one of the best books I've ever read. Granted, I'm a little bias since I love tales of the old west but I can't help but call this book a masterpiece. If I had one complaint I would say that it starts out a little slow but it feels like a requirement to build up the characters until the point where you're completely hooked. It an amazing "American" story and I can't recommend it enough as you absolutely won't regret spending your time in this fictional world."
  5. 21

    #8Interpreter of Maladies

    Interpreter of Maladies

    The Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri is a collection of nine stories that talk about Indian Americans and how they are caught between cultural and generational barriers.

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    Aaron Patterson
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "I absolutely could not put this book down when I was done with it. It's one of those books you just want to read over multiple times. I'm certain that my copy will be well worn before the year is over. "
  6. 20

    #9All the King's Men

    All the King's Men
    The political novel All the King's Men follows the life of Willie Stark, a demagogue and politician. It chronicles his beginnings as a genuine ally of the people and his subsequent corruption because of greed for power.
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    Roger Turner
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "I hate to call anything a "classic" before the pages turn brown, but this one rates right up there. Not only that, but it is particularly relevant in today's political world. My highest recommendations as a read before election day, or any other time for that matter."
  7. 18

    #10Empire Falls

    Empire Falls

    Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Empire Falls follows the story of Miles Roby, who stayed in his hometown of Empire Falls. Now that he's middle-aged and the town is dying,  Miles is forced to rethink his life.

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    Benjamin Phillips
    Written on February 9, 2018
    "I wanted to read a good fiction, so I went through the Pulitzer Prize list, to read something that is highly regarded. I picked up Empire Falls, and it seems really great. I'm only about halfway through it, but it's very very interesting. I love it so far. It's hard to read in certain parts. The author has a unique writing style, which can take a bit of getting used to. I don't mind it though."
  8. 16

    #11The Stone Diaries

    The Stone Diaries

    The Stone Diaries is a dramatic novel for young adults written by Carol Shields and with an introduction from Penelope Lively. It was released in 1993 and won the Pulitzer Prize. It is about a lady trying to find importance in her life.

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    Joseph Gonzales
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "This is most definitely a kids book, but I could put myself in that mindset to appreciate this book. It was good, and I can see why it won the Pulitzer. It has all the hallmarks of a great novel; the subject matter just ins't that compelling to me. "
  9. 16

    #12A Confederacy of Dunces

    A Confederacy of Dunces
    A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece by John Kennedy Toole's, The hero, Ignatius J. Reilly is a huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, latter-day Gargantua, and Don Quixote of the French Quarter.
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    Randy Pearson
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "A Confederacy of Dunces is a classic piece of American fiction. The story is vibrant and frenzied, but very intriguing. It has a whole range of emotion from sadness to humor. It is an enjoyable and worthwhile read."
  10. 11

    #13The Hours

    The Hours
    The Hours is Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction about three women of different generations whose lives got entwined because of similar challenges in life. The book included a fictitious Virginia Woolf.
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    Christian Jordan
    Written on March 5, 2018
    "How did I ever miss this book? It won the Pulitzer Prize and other prestigious awards. How did I miss the movie? Virginia Woolf is one of my favorite writers. Because my name, Clarissa, was rare while growing up, I always made a point to read books whose heroine, like Mrs. Dalloway, shared that first name. So how did I miss this? I must remain grateful for accidentally stumbling across a volume that echoes fleeting thoughts and feelings during the course of a lifetime. There is not much I can add in a review about a multi award-winning book that is so close to perfection, but I want to encourage anyone interested in Virginia Woolf, lesbian/gay issues or suicide to consider reading it. It is so much more than issues, of course. That is merely one level. At times, Cunningham's voice is identical to Woolf's, reminiscent of the novel To The Lighthouse or the essay A Room of One's Own, the magical, almost unbearable, Virginia Woolf sentences that many of us have aspired to emulate but never could write. I finished reading this spectacular story in tears."
  11. 6

    #14Beloved

    Beloved

    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.

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    Paridhi Mehta
    Written on May 12, 2018
    "Beloved is a wonderful, important story told by one of America's best writers. I do have to say it was not my most favorite of her fiction books, (I would argue that this is not her magnum opus) - but it is still very important. It can take some patience to get into the story and tease out the time line, but like any masterpiece - it is well worth the effort. It's a must read for most Americans - particularly today. I run a girls group in town and highlighted a few passages for the girls (I thought it was that important). "
  12. 1

    #15The Road

    The Road
    The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. It tells the story of a father and son walking through post-apocalyptic America to reach the coast. This is an ultimate story of survival in a desolate world.
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    Kathleen Murphy
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "This is an exciting book to read. It has been on my reading list and I am glad that I finally got around to reading it. It is very well written about the experience of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic America. The story is dark and brooding yet compelling and meaningful. I started reading this book on a long plane trip and could not put the book down. I had to read it all the way through to the end. It was totally worth it though. "
  13. 0

    #16The Piano Lesson

    The Piano Lesson
    The Piano Lesson is a coming-of-age play written by award-winning playwright August Wilson. It was first released in 1990 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play.


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    Amanda Harper
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "This was nice, and I wanted to enjoy it more. The voice was lovely, but the overall plot I guess makes me feel like I could have chosen a Pulitzer prize fiction winner that would appeal to me more."

Summary

Best What are the best Pulitzer Prize winners for fiction
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 35 Paid
2The Color PurpleBooks 32 Paid
3The Good EarthBooks 31 Paid
4The Old Man and the SeaBooks 29 Paid
5The Age of InnocenceBooks 27 Paid
6MiddlesexBooks 25 Paid
7Lonesome DoveBooks 24 Paid
8Interpreter of MaladiesBooks 21 Paid
9All the King's MenBooks 20 Paid
10Empire FallsBooks 18 Paid
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