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Author Colson Whitehead makes history by earning a second Pulitzer Prize for fiction

3 years 7 months 1 hour ago Tuesday, May 05 2020 May 5, 2020 May 05, 2020 8:22 AM May 05, 2020 in News
Source: BBC News
Colson Whitehead

As one of only four authors to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction twice, Colson Whitehead has made history.

According to the BBC, the 50-year-old author is the voice behind The Nickel Boys, which chronicles the real-life tales of young black boys who were subject to extreme abuse while attending a reform school in Florida.

In 2017, Whitehead wrote a book called The Underground Railroad, which also focused on the survival of African Americans prior to the abolishing of slavery in the United States. 

Before him, Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner and John Updike were the only authors to receive two Pulitzer awards for fiction.

The 2020 awards, postponed for several weeks due to the coronavirus, were announced remotely this year in the living room of Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy.

She noted that the first Pulitzers were awarded in 1917, less than a year before the outbreak of the Spanish Flu.

The Pulitzers are among the highest honors for US-based journalists and authors.

Whitehead, a Harvard graduate, has previously said he grew up wanting to be the black version of horror writer Stephen King.

His Nickel Boys was inspired by the real-life horror story of the Dozier School for Boys in the Florida panhandle, where children convicted of minor offenses were subjected to violent abuse.

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