Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tale of Two Pulitzers

Until now, whenever I have read a Pultizer Prize winning book, I have really liked the book a lot, regardless of its genre.

For example, I'm not a big lover of short stories, but I really enjoyed Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, a Pulitzer Prize winner in 2000. I can say the same for Elizabeth Stout's collection of short stories entitled Olive Kitteridge that won in 2008.

However, last week when I finished the 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, I was surprised to say that I would have difficulty recommending it to just about anyone I know.

I certainly learned about the Dominican Republic, its culture, and people, but it was a dark, violent and misogynistic story.
I may have the opportunity to hear the author, Junot Díaz, speak in Washington DC later this month. So, perhaps my opinion will change. But right now you can count me as mystified as to why this book won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008.