Pulitzer Book Club Inclusion Guide

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GET THE BOOK

INCLUSION MILESTONES

1974

• Beverly Johnson first Black woman on “Vogue” cover
• Kathy Kozachenko first openly LGBTQ elected to public office
• Chicago repeals last “Ugly Law” which allowed arrest for disfigurement or showing disability

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AUTHOR INSPIRATIONS

“All three members of the Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction expressed distress and bewilderment yesterday that their unanimous recommendation for a prize for Thomas Pynchon's “Gravity's Rainbow” had been turned down and that no fiction award was given this year.” – New York Times, May 8, 1974

Featured Reader

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No Award. “Gravity’s Rainbow” was recommended by Fiction jury.
https://www.nytimes.com/1974/05/08/archives/pulitzer-jurors-his-third-novel.html

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…members of the 14‐member board, which makes recommendations on the 18 Pulitzer Prize categories in journalism, letters and music after jurors' reports, had described the Pynchon novel during their private debate as “unreadable,” “turgid,” “overwritten” and in parts “obscene.” One member editor said he had tried hard but had only gotten a third of the way through the 760‐page book.” – New York Times, May 8, 1974

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Unanimous jury recommendation; no award from Pulitzer board.

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Serious. “Gravity’s Rainbow” is 760 pages or 37+ listening hours.

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“All three members of the Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction expressed distress and bewilderment yesterday that their unanimous recommendation for a prize for Thomas Pynchon's “Gravity's Rainbow” had been turned down and that no fiction award was given this year.” – New York Times, May 8, 1974

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“The Columbia University trustees, who make the final awards, only accept or reject the advisory group's report.” – New York Times, May 8, 1974

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An unsatisfying meal.

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"The plan of award for the Pulitzer Prizes says that jurors are invited to submit ‘from three to six recommendations,’ but cautions that the advisory board is empowered to ‘select, accept, substitute or reject the recommendations of the jurors.’”– New York Times, May 8, 1974

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Wherever

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Why do people respond differently to literature? Why is that a good thing? How is literature judged over time? Talk about the final years of World War and war-ending technology in “Gravity’s Rainbow” and the war itself.

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Keep driving around the block.

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Your favorite film adaptation of a Pulitzer winner.

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“In view of the call for multiple recommendations, Professor Delvfott said his report —after stressing the unanimous backing for the Pynchon novel—showed two of the three jurors endorsing John Cheever's “A World of Apples” for runner‐up with the other preferring Gore Vidal's “Burr.”” – New York Times, May 8, 1974