5 Literary Award Decisions More Questionable Than Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer

Amid all the cheers that have greeted her win, there are those who think Donna Tartt didn’t deserve the Pulitzer Prize for The Goldfinch. Some took to Twitter immediately after the award was announced to either talk about all the other books they thought were more deserving or hypothesize that the prize was an apology for past awards she should have won. Although naysayers aren’t anything new when it comes to major awards, there have been a few other writers whose awards (or lack thereof) rattled cages way more than this year’s winner, and probably for way better reasons.

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Ernest Hemingway’s 1941 Pulitzer snub

Papa had the Pulitzer in the bag in 1941, when the Pulitzer Prize committee for letters unanimously recommended For Whom the Bell Tolls for the prize. Everybody agreed except Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University at the time, who overrode the vote because he thought the book was inappropriate. No award was given that year.