Alas, no Pulitzer Prize for me . . .
not this year

The Pulitizer Prize medallion

Pulitzer Prize Day! For writers and journalists, today is Christmas, Easter, Birthday, Wedding Anniversary, and Bastille Day all rolled into one. I mean . . . a really big deal! None of us slept last night. We were all hunched over our phone, guzzling coffee, waiting for the call.

Alas, the call never came.

Not that one anyway: the one telling me that Soda Springs: Love, Sex, and Civil Rights won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

The only calls I got last night were from the Democrats begging money so they could attack some more Republican lies; from “Alice” telling me she was in the neighborhood and wanted to clean my carpets; and from the robot lady at “Credit Card Central” telling me there was no problem with my credit, but . . . (She’s never made it past the but; I’m quick on the hang up.)

I thought for sure this year was the year – it had to be; I can’t turn out a novel every year. Who knows when I’ll publish this next one.

Now I’m thinking I should have stayed on with the Carlsbad Current-Argus; I was churning out stories like crazy in those days; that gave me lots more candidates than a single novel every now and then. Plus there are a lot more Pulitzer categories for journalists than for novelists. It’s not fair!

Anyway, I nominated myself (you can do that, you know), sent in the 50 buck entry fee and four copies of Soda Springs. (Yes . . . 4 . . . that’s another $80 right there! Plus postage.) That was last July. Then followed nine months of waiting, nine months of dreaming about how I’d spend that $10,000 and how best I’d display the gold medallion. Nine months is a long time (just ask the nearest mother). All dashed by this morning’s disappointing non-announcement.

But here’s the mitigating news: I’m not alone. This year it’s me and every novelist in the country. Denis Johnson, Karen Russell, and the late David Foster Wallace didn’t win either. No one did. For some inexplicable reason they decided not to award a Pulitzer for Fiction this year. Maybe they lost the applications . . . or the novels. Who knows?

Only one thing is clear: since they chose not to select a winner, Columbia University owes me my $50 entrance fee. I’m writing them as soon as I post this blog.

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