The gasp heard round the (literary) world
If there's a bright spot in the fact that the Pulitzer Prize Board didn't award a Fiction Prize for 2011, it's that the resulting controversy has brought three excellent books to prominent attention.
For anyone who hasn't heard how this came to pass, here's the condensed version: A jury of three literary folks (Susan Larson, former book editor of the Times-Picayune, Maureen Corrigan, book critic on NPR, and novelist Michael Cunningham) nominated three books for the Fiction Prize. The books:
The three nominations were passed on to the 20-person Pulitzer Prize Board who were to vote and award the prize. But the board couldn't reach a majority for any one title - so no prize was given. When the announcement was made a collective gasp could be heard throughout the literary world. Stunned shock could best describe the reaction. Since then the books and their authors have gotten loads of press (yay) and Karen Russell just won the NYPL's Young Lions Fiction Award.
A silver lining to every cloud, perhaps?