[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]T[/dropcap]he Pulitzer Prize winners were announced last week with Viet Thanh Nguyen taking the award for the fiction category with his novel, The Sympathizer. After checking out Nguyen’s novel, consider these other winners for your next read:
The Age of Innocence won Edith Wharton the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The novel is set in 1870 and, like Wharton’s other novels, focuses on New York’s high society. Newland Archer is a young lawyer engaged to May Welland, a beautiful debutante, perfect for his social standing. However, he is smitten when he meets May’s cousin, the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska, who returned to New York after separating from her husband in Europe, a scandalous thing to do at the time. Newland tries to fight his feelings for the Countess but is unable to shake them. The Countess is also in love with Newland, but despite their desire for each other, Newland refuses to act upon his passion, preferring instead to stick to his duty.
Willa Cather won the 1923 Pulitzer Prize with One of Ours, a story about a young man growing up in the Nebraska who wants to find his life’s purpose. Claude Wheeler is the son of a successful farmer but though poised to take over the family business, he has no interest in it. He helps to manage the farm with his father and settles down with a childhood friend, but is unsatisfied. It’s not until he enlists to serve in World War I that he begins to believe he has found his purpose.