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

1951 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

The Town by Conrad Richter


Publisher: Ohio University Press

Length: 300 pages

About: Pioneers witness their town grow

Style: 3rd person

Where: US (Shawnacee County)

When: 19th Century



Publisher’s synopsis:

In the final novel of Richter’s Awakening Land trilogy, Sayward Wheeler completes her mission and lives to see the transition of her family and best friends. American pioneers, from the ways of the wilderness to the ways of civilization. Old timers like Sayward always reminiscing often clash against the youth like her youngest son Casey who believes that traditional ‘hard work’ is an anachronism.



When Chancey reached the canal, the water was already in and the crowds had gone home. He stopped on the bridge, staring. He hadn’t dreamed canal water would be slow and mnuddy like this. His father said they were going to let it in from the river. He thought that like the river, it would be bright and sparkling in the sun. Did canal water ever remember, he wondered, when yesterday it had run fresh and beautiful in the river?




The Town is a long and obviously sincere study of a family of American pioneers in the Shawancee County. The principal figure is Saywood, the mother, a somewhat earthy type….Her story is told with an alarming absence of humour, but a good deal of genuine emotion has been put into it and parts of it are surprisingly moving.

Times Literary Supplement 2nd November 1951


Not so good:

The Town is much longer and even more episodal than it’s predecessors, and because of its loose sprawling structure it does not posess their powerful emotional appeal. Nevertheless, it is a book of rare quality.

New York Times, Orville Prescott, 25th April 1950 


About the author

Born October 13 1890 in Pensylvannia and in 1928 he and his family moved to New Mexico, where his heart and mind were soon captured by the Southwest. From this time on he devoted himself to fiction. He died in 1968.



























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<1950> -  <1952>














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Age guide: 12



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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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