Friday, April 17, 2009

Top 10 forgotten prize winners

The American Book Exchange has compiled a list of the Top 10 Forgotten Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novels (h/t: Books, Inq.). First on the list is James Gould Cozzens’s Guard of Honor, which I named earlier as a celebrated book whose author had outlived his reputation. Martin Dressler hardly belongs on the same list as The Able McLaughlins and Lamb in His Bosom, though. How about Edna Ferber’s So Big, John Hersey’s Bell for Adano, or Jane Smiley’s Thousand Acres?

A more useful list would include prize-winning novels that have been forgotten, but do not deserve to be:

( 1) Thomas Williams, The Hair of Harold Roux (National Book Award, 1975)
( 2) Adele Wiseman, The Sacrifice (Governor General’s Award, 1956)
( 3) Linda Grant, When I Lived in Modern Times (Orange Prize, 2000)
( 4) Jean Stafford, The Collected Stories (Pulitzer Prize, 1970)
( 5) Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils (Booker Prize, 1986)
( 6) Walter de la Mare, Memoirs of a Midget (James Tait Black Prize, 1921)
( 7) Brian Moore, The Luck of Ginger Coffey (Governor General’s Award, 1960)
( 8) Wright Morris, The Field of Vision (National Book Award, 1957)
( 9) Jane Urquhart, The Underpainter (Governor General’s Award, 1997)
(10) Sarah Waters, Fingersmith (Lambda Award, 2002)


pattinase (abbott) said...

I am adding this list to my blog today as I do forgotten books every Friday. THE HAIR OF HAROLD ROUX was one of my very favorite books.

D. G. Myers said...

I am very glad that someone else knows and delights in Williams’s novel. Try Wiseman (a retelling of the akedah) or Grant (a visit to Mandate Palestine) next.

Rose City Reader said...

Funny to think about these books as being "forgotten" when I obsess over finishing the books on the Pulitzer list. It's true that some are hard to find (I've been looking for Honey in the Horn forever -- impossible to find even here in Oregon), but I figure they are all worth reading, even if just to understand what was popular and praiseworthy when written.

The Old Devils should never be abandoned -- it's a favorite of mine.

I'm glad to find your blog, which I did from Amateur Reader's blog roll. It's nice to run across the combo of political conservative and book blogger.