[This is an encore presentation in slightly modified form of a 2007 post. It’s for all those of you who have already forgotten which obscure author beat both Hemingway and Faulkner for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1930.]
The Great Gatsby didn’t win the Pulitzer, and neither did these modern classics
By Janice Harayda
Sore that your favorite novel just lost the Pulitzer Prize for fiction to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao? Consider this: The judges for the 1930 prize looked at Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and gave the fiction award to … Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge.
Those classics aren’t alone in having been snubbed. Here are some noteworthy also-rans for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the novels that beat them in the years listed:
Loser: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Winner: The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O’Connor
Loser: Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
Winner: The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
Loser: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Winner: The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
Loser: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Winner: Nobody. No award given.
Loser: Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
Winner: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Losers: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway and The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Winner: Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge
Loser: Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Winner: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
Loser: The Great Gatsby
Winner: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Loser: Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Winner: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Here is a link to a list of all the 2008 winners (with descriptions of their work) and finalists www.huliq.com/56234/columbia-university-announcees-2008-pulitzer-prize-winners.
(c) 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.