jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 12Th May 2020
CORONABOBS ISOLATION DAY 56 – Diary of a Self-Isolator Sunday10Th May 2020
NEW YORK • American author Colson Whitehead’s novel The Nickel Boys, which chronicles the horrors of a reform school in Florida, has made him the fourth person ever to win the Pulitzer prize for fiction twice.
The 50-year-old won the same award in 2017 for his book The Underground Railroad.
Colson joins Booth Tarkington, William Faulkner and John Updike as authors who had won the Pulitzer prize for fiction twice, BBC reported.
Colson Whitehead has won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his 2019 novel Nickel Boys. The win comes just three years after Whitehead won the Prize for his 2016 novel The Underground Railroad, making Whitehead the fourth writer ever to have won the Pulitzer for fiction twice.
The last time Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize, in April 2017, the award served as the crown jewel in a months-long coronation. The Underground Railroad, in which an enslaved woman makes a magical-realism-inflected journey out of the antebellum south, was easily 2016’s book of the year. In September of 2016, it became the inaugural book in the then-latest edition of Oprah’s Book Club. Shortly thereafter, Barry Jenkins signed on to direct the TV adaptation. In November, it won the National Book Award.
But this year’s prize winner, Nickel Boys, is a quieter and less showy book than The Underground Railroad. And it’s not the consensus pick of 2019 in quite the same way its predecessor was.
Like The Underground Railroad, Nickel Boys is about a real-life atrocity. In this case, it deals with a hellish Florida reform school — historically called the Dozier School for Boys, here renamed Nickel Academy — at which boys who’d been convicted of petty crimes were systematically tortured: starved, beaten, raped, and shot. Nearly 100 boys between the ages of 6 and 18 died at the Dozier School for Boys between 1900 and 1973.
Boys of all races attended the school, but it was strictly segregated, and everything was worse for the black kids. In Nickel Boys, Whitehead delves into the story of two black students at Nickel Academy. One of them is deeply principled and believes Nickel to be a violation of the moral laws of the universe. The other is a survivor who will do what it takes to get out of Nickel alive. In spite of themselves, they become best friends.
Part of what made The Underground Railroad so compelling was its elements of surrealism. In that novel, the Underground Railroad is a literal train, and as the protagonist travels out of the South, she also seems to travel through time. But Nickel Boys contains no similar genre breaks; it’s a straightforward realist novel with a clean three-act structure, and although there is a twist, it’s the kind of twist that’s well within the realm of normal for this sort of literary fiction.
And although Nickel Boys was well-reviewed, it didn’t become inescapable in the way The Underground Railroad did. It won the Kirkus Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, but it wasn’t a finalist for the National Book Award. Nor was it an Oprah pick.
Whitehead’s second Pulitzer, then, is less a coronation of Nickel Boys and more a coronation of Whitehead himself. In becoming a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Whitehead is breathing rarified air known only to Faulkner, Updike, and Booth Tarkington (not all Pulitzer choices stand the test of time). He’s become a veritable literary statesman. The world is waiting to see what he’ll do next.
For us we had a nice long family Zoom video-link. Excellent! And watched Tony Robinson’s Train Journey Around The World.
We watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson setting out the next steps to the nation on TV at 7.00pm. But it was so full of uncertainties we had to wait for Monday’s explanations. So I’ll tell you then,
DON’T FORGET TO LAUGH EVERYDAY ESPECIALLY WHILST IN ISOLATION
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. — Bruce Lee
Happiness is…the Pulitzer Prize for fiction
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
When does Sean Connery arrive at Wimbledon?
Love is…a song in your heart
5 Things To Be Grateful For During Lockdown/Coronavirus
- May blossom
- Golden sunshine
- A nature walk
TOTAL STAIRWAY TO EVERST CLIMB CHALLENGE
DAY 36 18 Times – 162 Feet Cumulative Total 5,373 Feet
HORRIBLE LITTLE NUMBERS
Country Confirmed cases Deaths
1 US 1,347,916 80,684
2 UK 224,332 32,141
3 Italy 219,814 30,739
4 Spain 227,436 26,744
5 France 175,603 26,607
6 Brazil 169,594 11,653
7 Belgium 53,449 8,707
8 Germany 172,576 7,661
9 Iran 109,286 6,685
10 Netherlands 42,987 5,475
UK deaths yesterday 210
Global cases Updated 12 May at 10:30 local
Confirmed 4,178,156 +80,998
Deaths 286,353 +3,858
Recovered 1,456,493 +53,611
©2020 Phil M Robinson