2010 Pulitzer Prizes in Letters, Drama, Music

BY Tom LeGro  April 12, 2010 at 3:16 PM EDT

The 2010 Pulitzer Prizes were announced Monday afternoon. The winners in the Letters, Drama and Music categories are:

Biography: “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt” by T.J. Stiles. Art Beat talked to Stiles about “The First Tycoon” after the author won the National Book Award. Listen to that conversation here.

Drama: “Next to Normal,” music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. The Pulitzer citation calls ‘Next to Normal’ “a powerful rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals.”

Fiction: “Tinkers” by Paul Harding, a debut novel about a man dying and a father-son relationship published by Bellevue Literary Press (a tiny indie press that operates in New York’s Bellevue Hospital Center).

General Nonfiction: “The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy” by David E. Hoffman, a contributing editor to the Washington Post. His book examines the role Star Wars played in ending the arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

History: “Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World” by Liaquat Ahamed. Watch Jeffrey Brown’s conversation with Ahamed about “Lords of Finance” here:

Music: “Violin Concerto” by Jennifer Higdon, which premiered Feb. 6, 2009, in Indianapolis.

Poetry: “Versed” by Rae Armantrout, which also won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award. The Pulitzer citation called Armantrout’s collection “striking for its wit and linguistic inventiveness, offering poems that are often little thought-bombs detonating in the mind long after the first reading.”