The 2017 Pulitzer Prize Winners Included Four Black Authors And It's A Big Win For Diversity

Following the announcement of winners at the Pulitzer Prize's 101st annual ceremony on Monday, we're applauding its celebration of diversity.

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You'll remember earlier this year when author Nikesh Shukla – who compiled and edited one of the most praised books of 2016, The Good Immigrant – opened Britain's first BAME-only book award in a bid to push against the old 'mono-culture' of white writers and publishers which continues to dominate the publishing industry.

Well, you'll be glad to hear that on Monday, the Pulitzer Prize committee announced its 2017 winners at its 101st annual ceremony and among the 21 winners of the prestigious literary award, four black writers were commended for their books.

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The winners included Tyehimba Jess (poetry), Hilton Als (criticism), Lynn Nottage (drama) and Colson Whitehead (fiction), according to Mic.

Jess' Olio is a collection of sonnets, songs and narratives that highlight the lives of 'unrecorded African-American performers' before the Civil War up to World War I and was praised by Publishers Weekly for being 'encyclopedic, ingenious, and abundant'.

Also is a theatre critic for the New Yorker for his work, discussing the intersections of theatre, race, identity, sexuality and class in the US. A contributing piece for his award is his review of the Broadway musical DreamGirls.

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Meanwhile, Nottage won a Pulitzer for her Broadway show, Sweat. The political drama follows a group of friends who work in a factory and the cracks that start to appear at the news of redundancy.

Variety reports the playwright Nottage is the first female playwright to win the Pulitzer Prize twice.

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Whitehead, however, won the Pulitzer for his fictional work titled The Underground Railroad, which tells the story of Cora, a teenage heroine in 1850s Georgia who tries to break free from her work in a cotton plantation and escapes.

According to the New York Times, the book is to be adapted into a television series for Amazon created by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.

'Preserving the sweep and grandeur of a story like this requires bold, innovative thinking,' Mr. Jenkins said in a statement last month.

Finally, literature is making way for diversity.

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