Adam Johnson’s extraordinary novel of life in North Korea’s gulag, The Orphan Master’s Son, received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction yesterday. The board had awarded no fiction prize last year, creating an unusual level of anticipation about this year’s. I reviewed this richly deserving novel here. Johnson’s haunting story was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times, and Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
One of my favorite recent nonfiction books, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction. Here’s my review. This amazing little book was also winner of the National Book Award, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, USA Today, New York, The Miami Herald, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday and was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker and People.