And the Pulitzer Goes To…

A closer look at our novels that have taken home the top award in the past

Congratulations to David Kertzer, who has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography with his engrossing dual biography The Pope and Mussolini!

(UPDATED as of 04/20/2015, 4:07pm)

Below are Pulitzer-winning Random House novels & novelists from past years.

The Orphan Master's Son

Adam Johnson

“A great novel can take implausible fact and turn it into entirely believable fiction. That’s the genius of The Orphan Master’s Son. Adam Johnson has taken the papier-mâché creation that is North Korea and turned it into a real and riveting place that readers will find unforgettable.... When English readers want to understand what it was about—how people lived and died inside a cult of personality that committed unspeakable crimes against its citizens—I hope they will turn to this carefully documented story. The happy surprise is that they will find it such a page turner.”—The Washington Post

Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout

“The whitecaps in the harbor, some familiar piano chords, the doughnut a man brings to his wife after visiting his lover—Strout animates the ordinary with an astonishing force. These linked stories introduce the inhabitants of Crosby, Maine, where the pull of domestic tragedy is stronger for rarely being spoken of.... Strout makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air.”—The New Yorker

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content)

Michael Chabon

“A page-turner in the most expansive sense of the word: its gripping plot pushes readers forward.... Chabon is a reader’s writer, with sentences so cozy they’ll wrap you up and kiss you goodnight.”—Chicago Tribune

Foreign Affairs

Alison Lurie

“I am convinced that Alison Lurie’s fiction will long outlast that of many currently more fashionable names. There is no American writer I have read with more constant pleasure and sympathy over the years. Foreign Affairs earns the same shelf as Henry James and Edith Wharton.” —Sunday Times

The Optimist's Daughter

Eudora Welty

“Eudora Welty’s novel ... is a miracle of compression, the kind of book, small in scope but profound in its implications, that rewards a lifetime of work. Its style is at the service of a story that follows its nose with the instincts of a good hunting dog never losing the scent of its quarry. And its story has all those qualities peculiar to the finest short novels: a theme that vibrates with overtones, suspense and classical inevitability.” —The New York Times

The Confessions of Nat Turner

William Styron

“[A] stirring portrait of the crippling effects of slavery on Negroes and whites alike; more than any book in recent memory, it illuminates slavery as a central and inescapable fact of our history.... The Confessions of Nat Turner [is] a rich and powerful novel whose impact will be widely and ... deservingly felt.” —The New York Times

The Reivers

William Faulkner

“One aspect of The Reivers that is both interesting and unusual is that it is a coming-of-age novel written not at the beginning of its author’s career but at the very end. It has the wisdom of Faulkner’s age and experience.... The Reivers is written in prose at once distinctly Faulknerian yet entirely accessible.... It sets forth many of Faulkner’s most important themes in clear, persuasive ways.... It is a lovely book, funny and touching and Faulkner to the core.”—The Washington Post

A Fable

William Faulkner

“Faulkner at his best—even sometimes at his worst—has a power, a richness of life, an intensity to be found in no other American writer of our time.”—Malcom Cowley, The Portable Faulkner

Written about a reincarnated Christ in the First World War, A Fable was considered a controversial digression for Faulkner compared to his other works, as it strayed from his fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The writing proved so complex that he had to lay out scenes and notes for the story on the walls of his study at his home in Rowan Oak.