Colson Whitehead won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his novel “The Nickel Boys” on Monday, becoming only one of a handful of writers to win two Fiction Awards. Whitehead first won the prize in 2017 for his novel “The Underground Railroad.”
Another notable Pulitzer Prize winner was Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won the Commentary prize for The New York Times’ “1619” series that reframed American history by focusing on the legacy of slavery and the contributions of black Americans.Turn-of-the-century investigative journalist and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells received a special citation for “her outstanding and courageous reporting on the horrific and vicious violence against African Americans during the era of lynching,” the Pulitzer Committee said. The citation comes with a $50,000 grant to support Wells’ mission, with honorees to be announced later. For the first time, the Pulitzer Committee awarded a prize in Audio Reporting, which went to “This American Life,” Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, a freelancer at Vice News. The judges called the report “revelatory, intimate journalism.”
Colson Whitehead on “The Nickel Boys”
Jeffrey Gerritt, from the Texas local newspaper the Palestine Herald Press, picked up the award for Editorial Writing. Other regional papers also won awards, including Kentucky’s Louisville Courier-Journal, which won for breaking news coverage for former Governor Matt Bevin’s controversial pardons, The Baltimore Sun, which won for local reporting for their investigation of former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s fraudulent “Healthy Holly” book scheme, and the Seattle Times, which won one of two National Reporting prize winners for investigating Boeing’s 737 MAX’s design flaws.Including Hannah-Jones’ win, The New York Times took home three awards. The other two awards were for investigative reporting for a look into predatory lending in the taxi medallion industry and for international reporting for a series on Russia’s influence operations throughout the world.
“The 1619 Project”: Nikole Hannah-Jones on confronting the truth about slavery
The prizes were initially scheduled to be announced on April 20, but were postponed to May 4 because some of the board members were busy covering the coronavirus pandemic.
Read the full list of winners below:Journalism: Breaking News Reporting: Staff of The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.Investigative Reporting: Brian M. Rosenthal of The New York TimesExplanatory Reporting: Staff of The Washington PostLocal Reporting: Staff of The Baltimore SunNational Reporting: T. Christian Miller, Megan Rose and Robert Faturechi of ProPublicaDominic Gates, Steve Miletich, Mike Baker and Lewis Kamb of The Seattle TimesInternational Reporting: Staff of The New York TimesFeature Writing: Ben Taub of The New YorkerCommentary: Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York TimesCriticism: Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles TimesEditorial Writing: Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine Herald Press in TexasEditorial Cartooning: Barry Blitt, contributor, The New YorkerBreaking News Photography: Photography Staff of ReutersFeature Photography: Channi Anand, Mukhtar Khan and Dar Yasin of The Associated PressAudio Reporting: Staff of This American Life with Molly O’Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice NewsPublic Service: Anchorage Daily News with contributions from ProPublicaArtsDrama: A Strange Loop, by Michael R. JacksonHistory: Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)Biography: Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)Poetry: The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)General Nonfiction: The Undying: Pain, Vulnerability, Mortality, Medicine, Art, Time, Dreams, Data, Exhaustion, Cancer, and Care, by Anne Boyer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America, by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books)Music: The Central Park Five, by Anthony DavisFiction: The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)Special CitationIda B. Wells