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Ignore This, It's Fake

April 17, 2012|By Amy Hubbard

The 2012 Pulitzer Prize for fiction went to no one, it was announced Monday. The Pulitzer judges did reveal that three books had been named finalists, but declined to award one the prize.

The three finalists were "Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson, "Swamplandia!" by Karen Russell and "The Pale King" by David Foster Wallace.

In deciding the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, a committee of readers, which changes annually, recommends a small slate of titles to a panel of judges, who choose the winner.

Since its founding in 1918, the Pulitzer Prize for fiction has not been awarded nine other times. The most recent year in which there was no fiction award was 1977.

On occasion, the decision not to award the fiction prize has been marked by controversy. In 1941, the committee's recommendation of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway was deemed offensive by the president of Colombia, and no award was given.

Other book prizes were awarded by the committee. The Pulitzer for biography went to John Lewis Gaddis for "George F. Kennan: An American Life"; the prize for history went to "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" by Manning Marable; the Pulitzer for general nonfiction went to "The Swerve: How the World Became Modern" by Stephen Greenblatt; and the award for poetry went to Tracy K. Smith for "Life on Mars."

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