Jennifer Egan’s novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, a sprawling story that pivots from the story of an indie record label owner to a wide network of loosely connected characters, has won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Pulitzer board called the book “an inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.” Jonathan Dee’s The Privileges, about a Manhattan family, and Chang-rae Lee’s The Surrendered, about a North Korean refugee and an American GI, were the finalists. (Notably, Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed Freedom was not recognized; Franzen’s The Corrections was a Pulitzer finalist in 2002.)

Clybourne Park, a play by Bruce Norris about racially divergent families moving into (and out of) a single suburban home in 1959 and 2009, won the prize for Drama, cited as a “powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness.” Lisa D’Amour’s tragicomedy Detroit and John Guare’s historical comedy A Free Man of Color, were the finalists.

Here’s the full list of winners and finalists for the “Letters, Drama, and Music” categories:


The Privileges by Jonathan Dee

The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee

Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris


Detroit by Lisa D’Amour

A Free Man of Color by John Guare

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner


Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South by Stephanie McCurry

Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston by Michael Rawson

Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow


The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century by Alan Brinkley

Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon by Michael O’Brien

The Best of It: New and Selected Poems by Kay Ryan


The Common Man by Maurice Manning

Break the Glass by Jean Valentine


The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brain by Nicholas Carr

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne

Madame White Snake by Zhou Long


Arches by Fred Lerdahl

Comala by Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon

Read more: