Washington Post, Donna Tartt win Pulitzer prizes

NEW YORK (USA TODAY) -- Two newspapers that revealed government secrets about spying by the National Security Agency -- The Washington Post and The Guardian -- will share the Pulitzer Prize for public service, announced Monday.

The Pulitzer for fiction goes to Donna Tartt for her best-selling novel The Goldfinch.

The Pulitzers are the best known and most prestigious awards for the arts and journalism in the U.S.

Other journalism awards went to The Boston Globe for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing a year ago and Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., for investigative reporting.

Other arts awards:

Drama: Annie Baker for her play The Flick.

History: The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 by Alan Taylor.

Biography: Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall.

General non-fiction: Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin.

Poetry: 3 Sections by Vijay Seshadri.

Music: Become Ocean by John Luther Adams.

The Washington Post and Guardian stories were based on thousands of documents handed over by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Snowden has been charged with espionage and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted. He is living in Russia, which granted him asylum for one year.

The Pulitzer judges called Tartt's 784-page book "a beautifully written coming-of-age novel …that stimulates the mind and touches and heart."

It follows a grieving boy's entanglement with a famous painting (Fabritius' The Goldfinch) which he takes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a terrorist bombing. USA TODAY named it one of our 10 favorite books of 2013.

In a 4-star review for USA TODAY, Kevin Nance called the novel a "massively entertaining, darkly funny new book, that goes a long way toward explaining why its author is finally securing her place alongside the greatest American novelists of the past half-century, including John Updike, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison and that other latter-day Dickensian, John Irving."

The annual prizes, begun in 1917, are named for publisher Joseph Pulitzer and are administered by Columbia University in New York City. in 20 of the categories, each winner receives $10,000. The winner for public service in journalism is awarded a gold medal.


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