Chinese composer Du Yun stunned by Pulitzer win


The Latest on the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts (all times local):

6 p.m.

When Chinese composer Du Yun heard she won the Pulitzer Prize for music, she thought it was a prank.

Yun had just returned from a day of panels at The Culture Summit in Abu Dhabi, and her librettist texted her the good news, which arrived close to midnight for Yun.

Thirty-nine-year-old Yun won the prize Monday for “Angel’s Bone,” about a financially struggling couple who set out to nurse two battered angels, but instead kept the angels captive and exploited them for wealth and personal gains.

The Pulitzer board called the operatic work “bold” and said it “integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.”


5:05 p.m.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post says getting a call from President Donald Trump was “an emotional high point” in his reporting.

As for winning the prize, he said it’s “pretty overwhelming.”

Fahrenthold won the Pulitzer for national reporting for a series of stories exposing issues with Trump’s claimed charity giving and a story about a videotape where Trump made crude comments about women.

His path to Pulitzer victory involved trying to find veterans groups who had gotten $1 million Trump had promised of his own money. Fahrenthold used Twitter to publicize his efforts, tagging Trump’s Twitter account in his posts so Trump could see what he was doing.

Ultimately, Trump called to tell him that he was giving away $1 million to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity run by a friend.


4:15 p.m.

A 3,000-circulation newspaper that publishes twice a week has won the Pulitzer Prize for taking on powerful agricultural organizations after a water utility sued the paper’s home county and two others over farm pollution.

The Storm Lake Times of Iowa and writer Art Cullen won for a series of editorials that challenged powerful agricultural interests in the state. Judges said Cullen’s editorials were fueled by “tenacious reporting, impressive expertise and engaging writing.”

Cullen owns the newspaper with his brother and says his editorials were about government transparency.

The counties sued by the Des Moines Water Works secretly received money from agriculture groups to fight the lawsuit, and the newspaper pushed in its reporting to lift the veil of secrecy on who was paying to fight the lawsuit.

Cullen says he feels vindicated that the information was released.


4 p.m.

The New York Times has won three Pulitzer Prizes, for international reporting, breaking news photography and feature writing.

The awards were announced at Columbia University on Monday, several hours after the Times appeared to signal their wins by publishing an announcement promoting a Facebook Live event with its Pulitzer Prize winners. A Times spokeswoman called the notice “a mistake, combined with a little bit of hopeful thinking.”

The Times staff won the international reporting award for a series of reports on Vladimir Putin‘s efforts to project Russia’s power abroad. Daniel Berehulak won for photographs that documented a violent campaign in the Philippines. And C.J. Chivers won in the feature category for a magazine piece on a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.


3:50 p.m.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for exposing the unchecked flow of opioids into depressed West Virginia counties.

Gazette-Mail reporter Eric Eyre documented how drug wholesalers flooded the state with 780 million hydrocodone and oxycodone pills over six years at a time when 1,728 West Virginians fatally overdosed on those two painkillers.

The winners were announced Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City.


3:45 p.m.

Colson Whitehead has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel “The Underground Railroad,” which combined flights of imagination with the grimmest and most realistic detail of 19th-century slavery.

No work of fiction was more honored in 2016. Whitehead’s novel, which told of a runaway slave and a very real train to freedom, was given rave advance reviews and upon publication immediately jumped to the top of best-seller lists when Oprah Winfrey chose it for her book club. Last November, it won the National Book Award.

Whitehead told The Associated Press on Monday: “I think the book deals with white supremacy as a foundational error in the country’s history and that foundational error is being played out now in the White House.”


3:40 p.m.

“Olio” by Tyehimba Jess has won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

The Pulitzer board said Monday that the work melds performance art with poetry “to explore collective memory and challenge contemporary notions of race and identity.”

Finalists in the category were “Collected Poems: 1950-2012” by the late Adrienne Rich and “XX” by Campbell McGrath.


3:38 p.m.

The East Bay Times in Oakland, California, has won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for coverage of a warehouse fire that killed 36 people.

Judges said the staff of the newspaper received the award for relentless coverage of the Ghost Ship fire in December and for reporting after the tragedy that exposed the city’s failure to take actions that might have prevented it.

The winners were announced Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City.


3:35 p.m.

Matthew Desmond’s “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” has won the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.

Set in Milwaukee, Desmond’s book was among a wave of works that explored poverty, race and the class divide, themes that had special resonance as Republican Donald Trump campaigned on restoring the American Dream for “forgotten” Americans. Last month, Desmond won a National Book Critics Circle award.

The finalists for the nonfiction Pulitzer were “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” by John Donvan and Caren Zucker; and Micki McElya‘s “The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery.”


3:32 p.m.

David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post has won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for campaign reporting that cast doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities.

The award was announced Monday at Columbia University in New York City.

Among Fahrenthold’s findings was that Trump spent $20,000 that belonged to his charity on a 6-foot-tall portrait of himself.


3:30 p.m.

“The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between” by Hisham Matar has won the Pulitzer Prize for autobiography.

The Pulitzer Prize board said Monday that Matar’s memoir about his native Libya “examines with controlled emotion the past and present of an embattled region.”

Finalists in the combined category of autobiography and biography included “In the Darkroom” by Susan Faludi and “When Breath Becomes Air” by the late Paul Kalanithi.


3:25 p.m.

“Angel’s Bone” by Du Yun has won the Pulitzer Prize for music.

The Pulitzer Prize board on Monday called the operatic work “bold” and said it “integrates vocal and instrumental elements and a wide range of styles into a harrowing allegory for human trafficking in the modern world.”

Finalists in the category were “Bound to the Bow” by Ashley Fure and “Ipsa Dixit” by Kate Soper.


3:20 p.m.

The gripping “Blood in the Water: The Attica Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy” by Heather Ann Thompson has won the Pulitzer Prize for history.

The book examines the events that unfolded starting in Sept. 9, 1971, when nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. The work reveals the crimes committed during the uprising and its aftermath, who committed them and how they were covered up.

Last year’s history prize was won by “Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America” by T.J. Stiles. Other past winners include Charles Warren, Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Dean Acheson and Richard Hofstadter.

The award is for “a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States.” It includes a $15,000 prize.


This story has been corrected to show that the prize is now $15,000, not $10,000.


3:15 p.m.

The New York Daily News and ProPublica have won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for a series on how officials are using a nuisance abatement law to evict people from their homes, even if they haven’t committed a crime.

The award was announced Monday at Columbia University in New York City.

The reporting came from the review of 516 residential nuisance abatement actions from Jan. 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014. It found 173 of the people who gave up their leases or were banned from homes were not convicted of a crime, including 44 people who appear to have faced no criminal prosecution whatsoever.


3:10 p.m.

“Sweat” by Lynn Nottage, which explores working-class resentment, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The play that explores how the shutdown of a Pennsylvania factory leads to the breakdown of friendship and family and a devastating cycle of violence, prejudice, poverty and drugs.

The play marks Nottage’s Broadway debut. She is the writer of “Intimate Apparel,” ”By The Way, Meet Vera Stark” and “Ruined,” which also won the Pulitzer Prize.

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.”

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.”


This story has been corrected to show that the prize is now $15,000, not $10,000.


1:45 p.m.

The New York Times says it mistakenly published an announcement promoting a Facebook Live event with its Pulitzer Prize winners, hours before the winners were announced.

Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy wouldn’t confirm it had advance word that it had won any Pulitzers. She says the notice was “a mistake, combined with a little bit of hopeful thinking.”

Published on Page 2 of Monday’s print edition of The Times, it read: “How does it feel to get a Pulitzer Prize? Ask The Times’s recently announced 2017 winners yourself — they’ll be taking questions live today at 4:30 p.m. E.T.”

Although the prizes are confidential, news organizations sometimes manage to learn of Pulitzer wins before the official announcements. The winners of the 2017 Pulitzers were to be revealed at 3 p.m. Monday.


9:20 a.m.

The winners of the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism and the arts are set to be announced in New York City.

This is the contest’s 101st year. The winners are being revealed Monday afternoon at Columbia University.

The Pulitzer Prizes will recognize the best journalism of 2016 in newspapers, magazines and websites. There are 14 categories for reporting, photography, criticism and commentary.

In the arts, prizes are awarded in seven categories, including fiction, drama and music.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


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