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

1955 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner

A Fable by William Faulkner


Publisher: Vintage

Length: 370 pages

About: Soldiers agree not to fight

Style: 3rd person

Where: France

When: 1917



Publisher’s synopsis:

The book takes place in France during World War I and stretches throughout one week. It tells the stories of "Corporal Zsettslani", who is representative of Jesus. The Corporal orders 3,000 troops to disobey orders to attack in the brutally repetitive trench warfare. In return, the Germans do not attack, and the war is simply stopped when the soldiers realize that it takes two sides to fight a war. The Generalissimo has the corporal arrested and executed; he is representative of leaders who use war solely to make themselves stronger (he invites the German general over to discuss how to start the war again). Before he has him shot, the generalissimo tries to convince the Corporal that war can never be stopped because it is the essence of humanity.



‘It wasn’t we who invented war.’ The group commander said harshly. ‘It was war which created us. From the loins of man’s furious ineradicable greed sprang the captains and the colonels to his necessity. We are his responsibility; he shall not shirk it.’




Hi style, at times is very demanding on the reader, rises often to magnificence. His handling of the novel’s complex ideas is of necessity not simple and in many passages requires especially close attention. But in spite of difficulties which seem formidable to the hammock reader, A Fable is rewarding. It is one of the important works of our major novelist.

New York Times, Carvel Collins, 1st August 1954  

Not so good:

Mr Faulkner has given us the clue to his novel in its title. Yet it is a misleading one since the style and composition of a fable should essentially be simple enough to allow its meaning to show clearly. Mr Faulkner however, has built up a design of such extreme complexity that the reader is primarily occupied with the unravelling of it and has little energy left to penetrate the inner sanctuary of it meaning.

Times Literary Supplement 10th June 1955


About the author

Born New Albany Mississippi, September 25th 1897 died July 6th 1962. Enlisted Royal Air Force Canada, 1918. Attended University of Mississippi. Travelled in Europe 1925-26. resident of Oxford, Misssissippi. First published novel in 1926. Awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1950.



















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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