The 1922 Novel Decision

For the 1922 Novel jury, Stuart P. Sherman, who had been stirring up controversy in the Novel category for the past 2 years, was the only of the 3 jury members to return. He was asked by the Advisory Board to be chairman, and he agreed, under the stipulation that, if the jury reached a unanimous verdict in their recommendation, that it would not be overturned by the Advisory Board.

And things went much smoother this year. The jury report states that all three members agree “Booth Tarkington’s ‘Alice Adams’ is the best novel of 1921 which can be construed as coming under the terms of the Pulitzer competition.” The clarification that it fit “under the terms of” the Prize is clearly meant to be a reminder of the controversy from the year before. It seems to me, at least, that Stuart Sherman could not resist this one last barb, and it seems the Advisory Board thought similarly, because Sherman never again served on the Novel jury after 1922.

Thus Booth Tarkington won his second of two Pulitzer Prizes in the Novel Category, becoming the first of only three authors thus far who have won two Pulitzer Prizes in the Novel/Fiction category.

Currently reading: One of Ours by Willa Cather

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