And the 2015 Pulitzer Winner is… All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Chances are you’ve seen this one lining the shelves and covering the front tables in just about every bookstore you’ve walked into during the past year. The tale of “a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II”, this novel was also a National Book Award Finalist, bestseller, and Colorado Blue Sprice YA Award Nominee. It’s non-traditional storyline jumps around in time, making for an ambitious novel and focused read.
Competing against Richard Ford’s Let Me Be Frank with You, Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account, and Joyce Carol Oates’ Lovely, Dark, Deep, it was Doerr’s relatively quick read that took home the ten thousand dollar prize and distinguished title. Filled with shorter, fast paced chapters and abrupt shifts in time, All the Light We Cannot See reads like a breath of fresh air in the at times stuffy literary world. Columbia University announced the book as the winner, stating that the text runs deep to explore the “human nature and the contradictory power of technology.” They also described the book as being written as an “imaginative and intricate” work, seemingly praising the story’s unique perspectives and interweaving storylines.
As far as the other 2015 Pulitzers, Gregory Pardlo took home the prize for poetry with his work Digest, while The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert won for general nonficiton. Biography went to The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David I. Kertzer, drama to Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, and history to Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn.
Featured Image: muffin9101985/Flickr Creative Commons, Book Covers courtesy of publishers.