Monday, April 12, 2010


Yes, they have announced the 2010 Pulitzer Prizes. And the fiction prize goes to... Um... Folks, they are really giving the Nobel Prize for Literature a run for its money. I would have thought the Pulitzer folks would try rubbing the Nobel people's collective noses in it and start awarding their prize to America's best-known and most widely-lauded writers. And every few years they do award a Cormac McCarthy or a Philip Roth. The rest of the time they seem to be racing the Scandinavians for the title of "most lauded novel you've never even seen in a bookstore."

I get only the most minute credit this year. I have one of the finalist's novels on my coffee table, in the to-read pile. That's Daniyal Mueenuddin's In Other Rooms, Other Wonders. Great title, by the way. In any case, I do prefer it to the other finalist title, Love in Infant Monkeys, by Lydia Millet. That comes surely from that old study that found baby monkeys would rather cling to a soft, warm artificial mother than to a cold, hard phony mom that offered food. This is for the same reason that I don't sit on the kitchen floor next to the refrigerator. Well, not all the time, anyway.

On to the winner! Dang, I had to look it up again. Congratulations to Paul Harding, for his novel Tinkers. I like this title a lot, mostly because I once had a cat named Tinker. But this book is not about a cat. It is about three generations of men, grandfather, father, and son, and their quiet lives in New England.

The sound you hear is John Irving kicking himself in the head.

No comments: