The 1939 Novel Decision

The same three jurors, Fletcher, Krutch, and Lovett, came back in 1939 to judge the Pulitzer Prize for Novel and “unanimously agreed to recommend” Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling for the prize. The jury report calls the book “an interesting and sensitive account of the coming of age of a poor boy in a remote part of Florida” and applauds the “psychological insight” as well as the “description of the life of a picturesque people.”

The jury also listed as secondary recommendations All This and Heaven Too by Rachel Field, Black is My True Love by Elizabeth Mattox Roberts, May Flavin by Myron Birnig, and Renown by Frank O. Hough, but the Pulitzer committee agreed with their first choice and awarded Rawlings the Pulitzer, although John Hohenburg states that at the choice, “the critics grumbled.”

Currently reading: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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