Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1948 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

Tales of the South Pacific by James.A.Michener


Publisher: Random House

Length: 351 pages

About: South Pacific War & Romance

Style: 1st & 3rd person

Where: South Pacific

When: 1940s



Publisher’s synopsis:

Enter the exotic world of the South Pacific, meet the men and women caught up in the drama of a big war. The young Marine who falls madly in love with a beautiful Tonkinese girl. Nurse Nellie and her French planter, Emile De Becque. The soldiers, sailors, and nurses playing at war and waiting for love in a tropical paradise.



‘They were home, yet there was an evil taste in their mouths; for not even Chicago or Fort Worth can solace a man who has been in the islands and who knows another great strike is forming. His wife and his mother may tell him that he is home now, and order him to forget the battles, but he knows in his heart that he is not home.’




Tales of the South Pacific " is truly one of the most remarkable books to come out of the war in a long time...[James Michener] has captured the phase of the war that most GIs in the Pacific will want to remember - the flaming sunsets, the quiet pellucid lagoons of some of some forgotten atoll, jungles that breathed mystery as well as malaria.-- Books of the Century

New York Times review, February 1947

Not so good: 

Mr Michener is a born story-teller but, paradoxically, this ability results in the book’s only real weakness – the interminable length of some of the tales. Mr Michener saw so much, and his material is so rich, that he simply could not leave anything out.

New York Times, David Dempsey, 2nd February 1947 


About the author

Mr. Michener's entry in ''Who's Who in America'' says he was born on Feb. 3, 1907. But he said in his 1992 memoirs that the circumstances of his birth remained cloudy and that he did not know just when he was born or who his parents were. He survived a Dickensian childhood to win the Pulitzer Prize with his very first book, published when he was about 40, and then became one of America's favorite storytellers with grand-scale novels like ''Hawaii,'' ''The Source'' and ''Texas''. He died in 1997 aged 90.































































Page turner







Age guide: 12



Novels by same author:


Musical (1949) by Rodgers & Hammerstein & Film (1958)






2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

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