Letter from the Pulitzer Fiction Jury: What Really Happened This Year


On April 16, 2012, the Pulitzer Prize Board announced that it would award no Pulitzer for fiction in 2012. This was, to say the least, surprising and upsetting to any number of people, prominent among them the three fiction jurors, who’d read over three hundred novels and short-story collections, and finally submitted three finalists, each remarkable (or so we believed) in its own way.

And yet, no prize at all in 2012.

How did that happen? http://nyr.kr/MSxOeh

The delightful dishing of literary dirt, with a cliffhanger to boot. And, a great mini-review of the finalists, the perfect kind, which makes you want to read them immediately …

Letter from the Pulitzer Fiction Jury: What Really Happened This Year

Billy Renkl – Night Flight (2010)

A collage by Alabama artist Billy Renkl, who writes:

It is important to the meaning of my work that a viewer understand the components of the collages have had a former life as objective information (that this is a page from a botany textbook published in 1820, for instance, rather than a reproduction of that page).

An old star chart, sketches of birds and flowers, an archive grasped from its obsolescence and stitched together into “something imprecise but now filled with metaphor.” The image evokes a sort of nostalgia for these prosaic attempts to illustrate and organize a world in which distances were infinitely greater, a simultaneous regression into a distant past and our youth amidst didactic books, where an image opened whole new worlds. The simple artistry of these ancient printing techniques becomes a work of art once again, if not for the first time, preserved now in this new form which lures the viewer with its simple lines, a neatness born of material necessity returning as a forgotten discipline of elegance.