Greer wins fic­tion Pulitzer for ‘Less,’ La­mar hon­ored for ‘DAMN’

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION -

NEW YORK | An­drew Sean Greer’s “Less,” the comic and mis­be­got­ten ad­ven­tures of a mid­dle-aged nov­el­ist, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fic­tion on Mon­day.

Mr. Greer’s novel didn’t re­ceive the same at­ten­tion as Jes­myn Ward’s “Sing, Un­buried, Sing,” win­ner of the Na­tional Book Award, or Ge­orge Saun­ders’ “Lin­coln in the Bardo.” But it was widely praised as poignant and funny and was ranked among the year’s best by The Wash­ing­ton Post, which called it an “el­e­gantly” told story of a man who “loses ev­ery­thing: his lover, his suit­case, his beard, his dig­nity.”

It wasn’t the only sur­prise win­ner. On Mon­day, Pulitzer judges up­ended decades of giv­ing the mu­sic prize to clas­si­cal or jazz artist and hon­ored Ken­drick La­mar for “DAMN.”

The revered rap­per is also the most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful mu­si­cian to re­ceive the award, which usu­ally is re­served for crit­i­cally ac­claimed clas­si­cal acts who don’t live on the pop charts.

The 30-year-old won the prize for his raw and pow­er­ful Grammy-win­ning al­bum. The Pulitzer board said the al­bum is a “vir­tu­osic song col­lec­tion” and said it cap­tures “the mod­ern African Amer­i­can life.”The Pulitzer board has awarded spe­cial hon­ors to Bob Dy­lan, Duke Elling­ton, Ge­orge Gersh­win, Th­elo­nious Monk, John Coltrane and Hank Williams, but a pop­u­lar fig­ure like Mr. La­mar has never won the prize for mu­sic. In 1997, Wyn­ton Marsalis be­came the first jazz act to win the Pulitzer Prize for mu­sic. That makes Mr. La­mar’s win that much more im­por­tant: His plat­inum-sell­ing ma­jor-la­bel al­bums – “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” “To Pimp a But­ter­fly” and “DAMN.” – be­came works of art, with Mr. La­mar writ­ing songs about black­ness, street life, po­lice bru­tal­ity, per­se­ver­ance, sur­vival and self-worth.Also Mon­day, the Pulitzer Prize for drama went to Mar­tyna Ma­jok for “Cost of Liv­ing.” Carolyn Fraser’s work on au­thor Laura In­galls Wilder, “Prairie Fires,” won for bi­og­ra­phy. Jack E. Davis’ “The Gulf” won for his­tory, while the gen­eral non­fic­tion prize went to James For­man Jr.’s “Lock­ing Up Our Own: Crime and Pun­ish­ment in Black Amer­ica.”

The Pulitzer judges wrote that Mr. For­man’s work draws on “vast ex­pe­ri­ence and deep knowl­edge of the le­gal sys­tem, and its of­ten-dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences for cit­i­zens and com­mu­ni­ties of color.”

Frank Bi­dart’s “Half-Light: Col­lected Po­ems 1965-2016,” win­ner of a Na­tional Book Award last fall, re­ceived the Pulitzer for po­etry. Mr. Bi­dart, who turns 80 next month, is one of the coun­try’s most ac­claimed po­ets. His pre­vi­ous works in­clude “De­sire” and Star Dust.”

In jour­nal­ism, the New York Times and The New Yorker won the Pulitzer Prize for pub­lic ser­vice Mon­day for break­ing the Har­vey We­in­stein scan­dal with re­port­ing that gal­va­nized the #MeToo move­ment and set off a world­wide reck­on­ing over sex­ual mis­con­duct in the work­place.

The New York Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post took the award in the na­tional re­port­ing cat­e­gory for their cov­er­age of Rus­sian med­dling in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and con­tacts be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump’s cam­paign and Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

The Press Demo­crat of Santa Rosa, Cal­i­for­nia, re­ceived the break­ing news re­port­ing award for cov­er­age of the wild­fires that swept through Cal­i­for­nia wine coun­try last fall, killing 44 peo­ple and de­stroy­ing thou­sands of homes.

The Wash­ing­ton Post also won the in­ves­tiga­tive re­port­ing prize for re­veal­ing decades-old al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct against Sen­ate can­di­date Roy Moore of Alabama. The Repub­li­can for­mer judge de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions, but they fig­ured heav­ily in Doug Jones’ vic­tory as the first Demo­crat elected to the Sen­ate from the state in decades.


Ken­drick La­mar won the Pulitzer Prize for mu­sic for his pow­er­ful Grammy-win­ning al­bum, “Damn.” The Pulitzer board said the al­bum is “a vir­tu­osic song col­lec­tion.”

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