Credit: Adam Johnson

The Orphan Master's Son

The recipients of the 2013 Pulitzer Prizes, the highly prestigious awards administered by Columbia University each year, were announced on Monday. Honorees for the book awards include stories that range from topical tales of North Korea-U.S. relations to the timeless subject of failed marriages.

The prize for fiction went to The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson, which EW gave an “A” upon its release in early 2012 and later listed among the year’s best fiction. The novel takes place in North Korea, chronicling the life of a man named Pak Jun Do, from his childhood in a state orphanage through a series of adventures and struggles amid rising tensions between North Korea and the U.S.

Credit: Adam Johnson

San Francisco-born writer Sharon Olds won the poetry prize for Stag’s Leap, a collection of poems about her divorce that the Pulitzer release describes as an examination of “love, sorrow, and the limits of self-knowledge.” Stag’s Leap also won last year’s T.S. Eliot Prize.

Winning the prize for history writing was Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam by Swedish-American writer Fredrick Logevall, who has written several books about U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War. The Pulitzer for biography writing went to The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss, which illuminated the real life of Haiti-born French General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, who was the inspiration for many stories written by his son, the author Alexandre Dumas, including The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. The general non-fiction award honored Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King, about racial injustice in 1949 Florida.

Johnson’s and Reiss’ books were also among the finalists for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Awards but did not take home the top prize.

The full list of 2013 Pulitzer Prize award winners and finalists is available on the official Pulitzer website.

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