Friday, April 9, 2010

Predicting the Pulitzer: Fun and Pointless

On Monday, the 2009 Pulitzers will be announced and PPrize has a list of the 14 novels most likely to win the fiction award. I think it's a pretty good list, but I'll try to go one better: here are the Ape's predictions for the finalists and the winner:

The Shortlist
The Winner

Why you ask?

Much like the previous few winners, LTGWS combines wide-spread critical adulation and pretty reasonable acceptance by the reading public. It's definitely a worthy choice; here's what I wrote about it last year:

This was probably the most universally praised novel of 2009 and understandably so. It's a novel, but I wouldn't be surprised if the four main narratives weren't originally stand-alone stories of some kind. A fragmented narrative generally means a less than compelling plot (and that's true here), but you're not here for plot. No, you are here to experience four distinct worlds: the world of a tightrope walker, the world of a prostitute in the South Bronx, the world of an Irish priest in the projects, and the world of a mother whose son has been killed in action. The stories don't all end well or happily; in fact most of them are goddam depressing, but McCann's message seems to be that they are all beautiful.  The magic here is that the overwhelming tumult and chaos of the world do, for a few brief moments, seem worth the pain.   

And if you are interested (you aren't) and can believe it (you can't), I did predict three of the last four winners correctly: The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Road, and Gilead. I whiffed on March, though I was thrilled that it won.