Jennifer Egan wins 2011 Pulitzer Prize
April 19, 2011
’s A Visit from the Goon Squad
has been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
This award, one of 21 prizes awarded annually for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition, is granted for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. Egan
’s novel was described by the Pulitzer Prize Board as being “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.” Past winners of this prestigious award include Cormac McCarthy
, Philip Roth, Harper Lee and John Updike.
A Visit from the Goon Squad
follows 13 individuals over fifty years, ranging from the San Francisco 1970s music scene to the pre-Internet nineties to a postwar future, and has been praised for its innovative form consisting of interlocking stories, including a 70-page PowerPoint chapter. A Visit from the Goon Squad
has also won the National Book Critics Circle Award
and the 2011 Tournament of Books. It was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.
This year’s jury for the fiction award were Elizabeth Taylor, literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, Alan Cheuse, an author and book critic, author Nicholas Delbanco, and Robert Frost, Distinguished University Professor of the University of Michigan.
The other shortlisted books in the fiction category were The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee, a haunting and heartbreaking epic, and The Privileges
by Jonathan Dee
. The Privileges
is a contemporary and provocative tale about an elite Manhattan family, moral bankruptcy and the long reach of wealth. Lyrical and imaginative, it is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other.
The prizes will be awarded at a luncheon ceremony at Columbia University in May.