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Subject: Re: A Bitter Pill/Tarleton Twins
From: David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David Shengold <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Dec 2016 06:02:06 +0000
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Actually "Max", I suggested *this*:


"Do a search for Pulitzer Prize Novels"

For that was the category, NOT Fiction which has been used since 1949,in which GWTW won, a category that existed only from 1917-1948. That alas knocks off almost all of the indeed distinguished writers whom you list. Of the others, I love Cather, of whom I have read almost everything, but ONE OF OURS is among her worst novels; As for Buck and Wilder ( as a *novelist*...Really? 

Here are those winners.
    * 1918: His Family by Ernest Poole
    * 1919: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
1920s
    * 1920: no award given[3]
    * 1921: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    * 1922: Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington
    * 1923: One of Ours by Willa Cather
    * 1924: The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
    * 1925: So Big by Edna Ferber
    * 1926: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (declined prize)
    * 1927: Early Autumn by Louis Bromfield
    * 1928: The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
    * 1929: Scarlet Sister Mary by Julia Peterkin
1930s
    * 1930: Laughing Boy by Oliver La Farge
    * 1931: Years of Grace by Margaret Ayer Barnes
    * 1932: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    * 1933: The Store by Thomas Sigismund Stribling
    * 1934: Lamb in His Bosom by Caroline Miller
    * 1935: Now in November by Josephine Winslow Johnson
    * 1936: Honey in the Horn by Harold L. Davis
    * 1937: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    * 1938: The Late George Apley by John Phillips Marquand
    * 1939: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
1940s
    * 1940: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    * 1941: no award given[4] 
    * For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
    * 1942: In This Our Life by Ellen Glasgow
    * 1943: Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair
    * 1944: Journey in the Dark by Martin Flavin
    * 1945: A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
    * 1946: no award given
    * 1947: All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren




________________________________
From: Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]; David Shengold <[log in to unmask]> 
Sent: Friday, December 2, 2016 11:31 PM
Subject: Re: A Bitter Pill/Tarleton Twins


David Shengold wrote:

"Do a search for Pulitzer Prize Novels and you'll see some of the immortal tomes that share  
that distinction. A few good books... and then the rest.
As for "popularity", that could be said of PEYTON PLACE and VALLEY OF THE DOLLS too, 
but..."

Thanks for the suggestion, David.  I did a search of Pulitzer Prize fiction, and Margaret 
Mitchell is in some very distinguished company:  Edith Wharton, Booth Tarkington, Sinclair 
Lewis, Thornton Wilder, Pearl S. Buck, John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair, John P. Marquand, 
James Michener, Herman Wouk, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Katherine 
Ann Porter, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, John Updike, Alice Walker, Toni 
Morrison, Annie Proulx... I had no idea that the Pulitzer featured so many of the most 
distinguished American authors of the past century.   "A few good books" indeed!  (BTW, 
how many of the books on the Pulitzer list have you actually read?  I counted 31 that I have 
read over the years, from "The Age of Innocence" to "The Goldfinch," and they are all 
worthy of the PP.)  

Re popularity, obviously that metric is not in itself a guarantor of quality.  But you should 
have chosen better counter-examples.  GWTW today, 80 years after its first publication, is 
one of the best-known, best-loved, and widely-read works of fiction in the U.S.  By contrast, 
I doubt if most people today have even heard of "Peyton Place" (a very good book, BTW) or 
"Valley of the Dolls" (now THERE is a "hack" work by a hack author), much less read them.  
No doubt the movie "GWTW" has something to do with the book's continuing popularity, but 
that alone does not account for it.

The racial/historical aspects of GWTW are another matter for considerable debate.  But the 
quality of the book itself is not in question, IMNSHO.

Regards -
Max

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