You nominated, the experts judged, and now it's time to vote. It’s been a fast and rollicking road to the final lineup in the first ever Publitzer Prize for Fiction – the Kansas City Public Library’s democratically driven answer to the real Pulitzer committee’s inability to award a prize for fiction for 2012.
After collecting your nominations all week long, on Friday, we posted the Publitzer readers’ booklist, which featured many thoughtful and compelling comments sent in by lit-lovers like you. It was a fantastic roundup of the fiction books that most resonated with our local reading community this past year. Seriously, if you've been looking for a good new novel to read, look no further.
Then, over the weekend, our panel of jurors – Readers’ Services Director Kaite Mediatore Stover, Pitch editor Scott Wilson, novelist and UMKC writer-in-residence Whitney Terrell, and Kansas City Star senior writer and editor Steve Paul – took all of your nominations under advisement as they deliberated to determine the finalists.
Now, it's up to you to choose the winner. Each of the books below received nominations from readers before the jurors selected them as finalists.
Finalist 1: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Jeffrey Eugenides’s groundbreaking novel Middlesex won the real Pulitzer in 2002. Ten years later, he’s back with a story that juror Whitney Terrell describes as “a beautiful and extremely compelling portrait of college and post-college life.” (Vote)
Finalist 2: Open City by Teju Cole
Nigerian-American author Teju Cole’s debut novel, about a Nigerian psychiatrist who conducts a philosophical voyage across the streets of New York, won the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. Juror Steve Paul called it “highly readable and exquisitely alive,” while reader Daniel Szabo praised it as “intelligent, original, and beautifully written.” (Vote)
Finalist 3: The Submission by Amy Waldman
As former New York Times journalist Amy Waldman set about writing her story of a fictional struggle to build a 9/11 memorial, she found her subject matter oddly mirrored in headlines as debate raged in real life over a “ground zero mosque.” Her ensemble piece about a city and country in spiritual recovery compelled readers and jurors alike. (Vote)
Cast your vote through midnight tomorrow, Tuesday, May 1. On Wednesday, May 2, the winning book will be announced – and we, the people, can feel like winners for having shown the Pulitzer committee how to recognize a good book.
Just to sweeten the deal, if you submit your name and e-mail along with your vote, you will be entered into a drawing for a Readers’ Advisory Giveaway Package of books and galleys handpicked for you by librarian Kaite Mediatore Stover.
About the Publitzer Coordinator
Jason Harper is the web content developer and social media manager at the Kansas City Public Library.