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Colson Whitehead wins Pulitzer prize for The Underground Railroad

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The prestigious Pulitzer Prizes for achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition were announced on April 10, 2017. This is the 101st edition of Pulitzer Prizes.

  • A speculative history novel “The Underground Railroad” written by Colson Whitehead has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.

‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colson Whitehead

The plot of ‘The Underground Railroad’ is set in 1850s Georgia and revolves around the journey of a teenage girl who escapes from slavery through a fictional railroad.

  • The Novel was published in August 2016 and became an instant bestseller. It won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction (US) in November 2016. It got a lot of positive Colson Whitehead wins Pulitzer prize for The Underground Railroadreviews, not just from media houses but also from celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Barak Obama.
  • Doubleday, publisher of ‘The Underground Railroad’ has revealed that 825000 copies have already been sold in US.
  • As per Pulitzer Prize Committee, ‘The Underground Railroad’ is a “smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.”
  • Colson Whitehead is an American writer. His debut novel was ‘The Intuitionist’ published in 1999. John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, Sag Harbor and Zone One are other novels written by Colson Whitehead.

Other Winners of 2017 Pulitzer Prize:

DramaSweat, by Lynn Nottage
PoetryOlio, by Tyehimba Jess
HistoryBlood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson
General NonfictionEvicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond
Biography or AutobiographyThe Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar
MusicAngel’s Bone, by Du Yun

Pulitzer Prize for journalism in various categories has been awarded to teams and individual staff members of various US based newspapers. The coveted Pulitzer Prize in Public Service category went to New York Daily News and ProPublica.


Breaking News ReportingStaff of East Bay Times, Oakland, CA
Investigative ReportingEric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston, WV
Explanatory ReportingInternational Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald
Local ReportingThe Salt Lake Tribune Staff
National ReportingDavid A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post
International ReportingThe New York Times Staff
Feature WritingC. J. Chivers of The New York Times
CommentaryPeggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal
CriticismHilton Als of The New Yorker
Editorial WritingArt Cullen of The Storm Lake Times, Storm Lake, IA
Editorial CartooningJim Morin of Miami Herald
Breaking News PhotographyDaniel Berehulak, freelance photographer
Feature PhotographyE. Jason Wambsgans of Chicago Tribune

Quick Facts about Pulitzer Prize:

  • Awarded For: Outstanding achievements in journalism, literature and musical composition
  • First Awarded in: 1917, by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher
  • Administered By: Columbia University
  • Prize: Gold Medal for the winner in Public Service Category of Journalism. All other winners receive Certificate and $15000 Cash Prize