Colson Whitehead's “Underground Railroad” wins Pulitzer

In biography segment, the year’s Pulitzer Prize went to Hisham Matar for his work The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between.

Created On: Apr 11, 2017 13:13 ISTModified On: Apr 12, 2017 12:28 IST

2017 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on 10 April 2017 by Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride in at Columbia University in New York. The announcement marks the 101st year of prizes.

The awards were announced in 21 categories and they include Letters, Drama & Music and Journalism.

Pulitzer prizes 2017

The novel titled The Underground Railroad authored by Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize in the fiction segment. In 2016, the novel had received the National Book Award of the US. This is for the first time in more than 20 years that the same work won the Pulitzer and National Book Award for fiction.

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The novel Underground Railroad is about an escaped slave that combined liberating imagination and brutal reality.
Complete list of winners

2017 Pulitzer prizes for Journalism



Public Service

New York Daily News and ProPublica: was awarded for uncovering, primarily through the work of reporter Sarah Ryley, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor minorities.

Breaking News Reporting

Staff of East Bay Times, Oakland, CA: was awarded for relentless coverage of the “Ghost Ship” fire, which killed 36 people at a warehouse party, and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it.

Investigative Reporting

Eric Eyre of Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charleston, WV: was awarded for courageous reporting, performed in the face of powerful opposition, to expose the flood of opioids flowing into depressed West Virginia counties with the highest overdose death rates in the country.

Explanatory Reporting

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy and Miami Herald: was awarded for the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. (Moved by the Board from the International Reporting category, where it was entered.)

Local Reporting

The Salt Lake Tribune Staff: was awarded for a string of vivid reports revealing the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utah’s most powerful institutions.

National Reporting

David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post: was awarded for persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities.

International Reporting

The New York Times Staff: was awarded for agenda-setting reporting on Vladimir Putin’s efforts to project Russia’s power abroad, revealing techniques that included assassination, online harassment and the planting of incriminating evidence on opponents.

Feature Writing

C. J. Chivers of The New York Times: was awarded for showing, through an artful accumulation of fact and detail, that a Marine’s postwar descent into violence reflected neither the actions of a simple criminal nor a stereotypical case of PTSD.


Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal: was awarded for rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation’s most divisive political campaigns.


Hilton Als of The New Yorker: was awarded for bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.

Editorial Writing

Art Cullen of The Storm Lake Times, Storm Lake, IA: was awarded for editorials fueled by tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing that successfully challenged powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa.

Editorial Cartooning

Jim Morin of Miami Herald: was awarded for editorial cartoons that delivered sharp perspectives through flawless artistry, biting prose and crisp wit.

Breaking News Photography

Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer: was awarded for powerful storytelling through images published in The New York Times showing the callous disregard for human life in the Philippines brought about by a government assault on drug dealers and users. (Moved into this category from Feature Photography by the nominating jury.)

Feature Photography

E. Jason Wambsgans of Chicago Tribune: was awarded for a superb portrayal of a 10-year-old boy and his mother striving to put the boy’s life back together after he survived a shooting in Chicago.

2017 Pulitzer prizes for Letters, Drama & Music




The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday): was awarded for 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.


Sweat, by Lynn Nottage: was awarded for a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.


Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (Pantheon): was awarded for a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.

Biography or Autobiography

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar (Random House): was awarded for a first-person elegy for home and father that examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.


Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (Wave Books): was awarded for a distinctive work that melds performance art with the deeper art of poetry to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.

General Nonfication

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown): was awarded for a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty.


Angel's Bone, by Du Yun

Premiered on January 6, 2016, at the Prototype Festival, 3LD Arts and Technology Center, New York City, a bold operatic work that integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world. Libretto by Royce Vavrek.

Pulitzer Prize

• The Prize established in 1917 is awarded for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States.

• It was established by provisions in the will of Joseph Pulitzer who had made his fortune as a newspaper publisher and is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

• Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories of which 20 winners are awarded a certificate and a cash award.

• The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.

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एग्जाम की तैयारी के लिए ऐप पर वीकली टेस्ट लें और दूसरों के साथ प्रतिस्पर्धा करें। डाउनलोड करें करेंट अफेयर्स ऐप

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