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Donna Tartt wins fiction Pulitzer for 'Goldfinch'
NEW YORK (AP) — Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch," already among the most popular and celebrated novels of the past year, has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. One of the country's top colonial historians, Alan Taylor, has won his second Pulitzer, for "The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War In Virginia."
The award Monday for general nonfiction went to Dan Fagin's "Toms River," an acclaimed chronicle of industrial destruction in small New Jersey community. Megan Marshall's "Margaret Fuller," about the 19th century transcendentalist, won for biography; and Vijay Seshadri's witty and philosophical "3 Sections" received the poetry prize.
Tartt's novel, a sweeping, Dickensian tale about a young orphan set in modern Manhattan, was published last fall to high praise and quick commercial success that has not relented. "The Goldfinch" has been nominated for a National Book Critics Circle prize and an Andrew Carnegie Medal and on Monday was in the top 40 on Amazon.com's best seller list even before the Pulitzer was announced.
Fans of the 50-year-old Mississippi native, many of whom still had strong memories of her 1992 debut, "The Secret History," had waited a decade for her to complete her third novel. "The Goldfinch" was published after the disappointing "The Little Friend." The Pulitzer will likely ensure her place among the elite of contemporary fiction writers and make "The Goldfinch" a million seller.
Meanwhile, the 59-year-old Taylor has reaffirmed his stature as a premier scholar of early American history. His "William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic," winner of the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes, was published in 1996 and praised as an enlightening and rigorous study of the founding of Cooperstown, N.Y.
"The Internal Enemy" has been cited as a worthy follow-up to Edmund Morgan's landmark "American Slavery, American Freedom," a story of the conflicting passions among white Virginians who both eloquently defended their own freedoms and suspiciously presided over the slaves who made their livelihoods possible.
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