The Pulitzer Prizes recognising the best of journalism and the arts in 2022 were announced Monday (May 8).The award in the fiction category was given away to two class-conscious novels: Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver’s modern recasting of Dickens’ classic David Copperfield, and Hernan Diaz’s Trust, an innovative narrative of wealth and deceit, set in the New York of 1920s.
Yale historian Beverly Gage’s G-Man, her widely acclaimed book on longtime FBI leader J. Edgar Hoover, was given the Pulitzer in the biography category.
His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, won for general nonfiction. Sanaz Toossi’s play English won for drama and Jefferson Cowie’s Freedoms Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power was honoured for history.
The Pulitzer board hailed English as a “quietly powerful play” about four Iranian adults preparing for an English language exam in a storefront school near Tehran, where family separations and travel restrictions drive them to learn a new language that may alter their identities and also represent a new life.
The one-act play English premiered off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company. Toossi is an Iranian American playwright from Orange County, California, who graduated with a masters from New York University. Her other works include Wish You Were Here.
Finalists for the coveted award included On Sugarland, by Aleshea Harris and The Far Country, by Lloyd Suh.
The Pulitzer for memoir or autobiography was given to Hua Hsu’s coming-of-age story Stay True. One of America’s most highly regarded poets, Carl Phillips, won in poetry for Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020. Omar, by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, won the Pulitzer for music.