NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Sean Greer's "Fearless," the comic and misbegotten adventures of a middle-aged novelist, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction on Monday.
Greer's novel didn't receive the same attention as Jesmyn Ward's "Sing, Unburied, Sing," winner of the National Book Award, or George Saunders' "Lincoln in the Bardo." But it was widely praised as poignant and funny and was ranked among the year's best by The Washington Post, which called it an "elegantly" told story of a man who "loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity."
It wasn't the only surprise winner.
On Monday, Pulitzer judges upended decades of giving the music prize to classical or jazz artist and honored Kendrick Lamar for "DAMN."
The drama prize went to Martyna Majok for "Cost of Living." Carolyn Fraser's work on author Laura Ingalls Wilder, "Prairie Fires," won for biography. Jack E. Davis' The Gulf" won for history, while the general nonfiction prize went to James Forman Jr's "Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America."
The Pulitzers judges wrote that Forman's work draws on "vast experience and deep knowledge of the legal system, and its often-devastating consequences for citizens and communities of color."
Frank Bidart's "Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016," winner of a National Book Award last fall, received the Pulitzer for poetry. Bidart, who turns 80 next month, is one of the country's most acclaimed poets. His previous works include "Desire" and Star Dust."