Louise Erdrich's 'The Night Watchman' wins Pulitzer Prize for fiction
One of America's most esteemed novelists, Louise Erdrich, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Night Watchman. Other winners for books include the late Les Payne and daughter Tamara Payne for their Malcolm X biography The Dead Are Arising. The awards were announced on Friday during a remote ceremony that honored the best work in journalism and the arts in 2020.
Others who bagged the award in various categories
Marcia Chatelain's Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America won for history. Natalie Diaz's Postcolonial Love Poem was the poetry winner and David Zucchino's Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy was cited for general non-fiction. Tania León's composition Stride won for music. The judges commended it for being a musical journey full of surprise.
Katori Hall's 'The Hot Wing King' bagged honors for drama
The Hot Wing King by Katori Hall, a play set around a hot wing cooking competition, won the prize for drama during a theater season that saw most venues largely shuttered. The drama award, which includes a $15,000 prize, is for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.
Pandemic forced changes in criteria for this year's drama award
With most theaters closed during the pandemic, the Pulitzer Prize Board altered the requirements for this year's drama award, allowing postponed or canceled works, as well as plays produced and performed in places other than theaters, including online, outside, or in site-specific venues during calendar 2020. The Hot Wing King opened off-Broadway just days before New York's theaters were closed.
The drama was hailed for its look at masculinity
The Pulitzer board hailed The Hot Wing King for its look at masculinity and how it is filtered by the experiences of a loving gay couple and their extended family as they prepare for a culinary competition. Other finalists included Circle Jerk by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley and Stew by Zora Howard.
Hall has many more accolades to his name
Hall is the author of the Olivier Award-winning The Mountaintop and is a Tony Award-nominated co-playwright of Broadway's Tina- The Tina Turner Musical. Previous playwrights honored include August Wilson, Edward Albee, Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, and Tennessee Williams. Recent winners include Annie Baker's The Flick, Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, Stephen Adly Guirgis's Between Riverside and Crazy, and Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.