Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Demon Copperhead’ and Hernan Diaz’s ‘Trust’ Among 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction

On Monday, May 8, 2023, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded to two novels that focused on social class: ‘Demon Copperhead’ by Barbara Kingsolver, a modern retelling of ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens, and ‘Trust’ by Hernan Diaz, an innovative narrative set in 1920s New York that delves into issues of wealth and deceit. The Pulitzer Prize for the biography was awarded to Beverly Gage for her book ‘G-Man’, a biography of longtime FBI leader J. Edgar Hoover. In the general nonfiction category, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa won for their book ‘His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice’.

In drama, Sanaz Toossi’s play ‘English’ won the Pulitzer. The play follows four Iranian adults as they prepare for an English language exam in a storefront school near Tehran, where they are driven to learn a new language due to family separations and travel restrictions. The Pulitzer Board described the play as “quietly powerful” and noted that it “may alter their identities and also represent a new life.”

The memoir or autobiography Pulitzer was awarded to Hua Hsu’s ‘Stay True’, a coming-of-age story. Carl Phillips won the Pulitzer for poetry for ‘Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020’, while Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels won the Pulitzer for music for their composition ‘Omar’.

Finalists in drama included ‘On Sugarland’ by Aleshea Harris, which drew inspiration from Sophocles and explored the effects of a nameless war on a community, and ‘The Far Country’ by Lloyd Suh, which delved into the struggles of emigrants who traveled from China to San Francisco.

Check out the British Book Awards 2023 Shortlist

Sanaz Toossi is a playwright of Iranian and American descent. She hails from Orange County, California, and holds a master’s degree from New York University. Her other works include “Wish You Were Here.” The one-act play ‘English’ premiered off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company.

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