2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Joseph Pulitzer

The 2017 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced April 10, at Columbia University in New York City. Some of the winners include: The Underground Railroad: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead (fiction); The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar (biography); Olio, by Tyehimba Jess (poetry); Sweat: TCG Edition, by Lynn Nottage (drama); Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (general nonfiction); and Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy, by Heather Ann Thompson (history). Check out all of the 2017 winners and finalists on our booklist

The Pulitzer Prize is given to individuals who have shown excellence in one of a number of literary, journalistic, and artistic categories over the previous year. Medals are awarded to works that accurately depict American life though fiction, nonfiction, and more. The formal announcement of the prizes are made each April, and the awards are chosen by the president of Columbia University, based upon the recommendations of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-born journalist and publisher for the New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote a will that allowed for the establishment for the Pulitzer Prize program. Originally, Pulitzer asked for four awards for $1,000 in journalism, four in drama, one for education, and five for traveling journalism or art scholarships. Today, the prize money is up to $15,000 for each category, and the scholarships are worth $7,500 each. Explore the past winners and categories here. The program celebrates its centennial this year.

Below, watch Oprah as she talks about the Pulitzer Prize winner for the fiction category, The Underground Railroad: