What’s in the water in Houston?

The Pulitzers award ceremony, typically held in May at Columbia University, will be held in the fall.


The winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes were announced via video stream this week. Originally scheduled for April 20, the announcement was postponed this year because of the pandemic.


Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy exercised social distancing and made the announcement via YouTube from her living room. “More than ever, this moment highlights journalism’s mission to provide a vital public service. It also demonstrates literature and the arts’ ability to transport and uplift the human spirit during trying times,” said Canedy.


These are your Texas Pulitzer winners:



Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in America, by W. Caleb McDaniel (Oxford University Press)

“A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a nineteenth-century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor.”


McDaniel is an associate professor and the incoming chair of the Department of History at the University of Houston.



Sontag: Her Life and Work, by Benjamin Moser (Ecco)

“An authoritatively constructed work told with pathos and grace, that captures the writer’s genius and humanity alongside her addictions, sexual ambiguities, and volatile enthusiasms.”


Though Moser lives in the Netherlands, he is a Houston native, mother opened the Stop, Look & Learn book and toy shop in Rice Village and also worked at Brazos Bookstore.



The Tradition, by Jericho Brown (Copper Canyon Press)

“A collection of masterful lyrics that combine delicacy with historical urgency in their loving evocation of bodies vulnerable to hostility and violence.”

Brown, a Louisiana native, earned a Ph.D. from the University of Houston’s creative writing program. The Tradition was a finalist for the National Book Award last year.


Editorial Writing

Jeffery Gerritt of the Palestine Herald-Press

“For editorials that exposed how pre-trial inmates died horrific deaths in a small Texas county jail—reflecting a rising trend across the state—and courageously took on the local sheriff and judicial establishment, which tried to cover up these needless tragedies.”


Jeffery Gerritt is the editor of the Palestine Herald-Press and last year's winner of the Walker Stone Award for opinion writing from the Scripps Howard Foundation. He has been editor of the Herald-Press since 2017.


Gerritt’s awards include the 2017 Sigma Delta Chi Award for editorial writing, 2018 Carmage Walls Commentary Prize, National Headliners Award for editorial writing,  and the Batten Medal, among others. He has also earned a special citation from the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights. In 2018 and 2019, CNHI named Gerritt Editorial Writer of the Year.


The Pulitzers award ceremony, typically held in May at Columbia University, will be held in the fall.


For the complete list of 2020 Pulitzer winners, go here https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2020