Finalists have been announced since 1980. The Novel category was re-named Fiction in 1947.


2015 All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

An imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.

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2014 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)

A beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters that follows a grieving boy’s entanglement with a small famous painting that has eluded destruction, a book that stimulates the mind and touches the heart.

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2013 The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (Random House)

An exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.

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2012 No award

No award

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2011 A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (Alfred A.. Knopf)

An inventive investigation of growing up and growing old in the digital age, displaying a big-hearted curiosity about cultural change at warp speed.

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2010 Tinkers by Paul Harding (Bellevue Literary Press)

A powerful celebration of life in which a New England father and son, through suffering and joy, transcend their imprisoning lives and offer new ways of perceiving the world and mortality.

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2009 Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

A collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine that packs a cumulative emotional wallop, bound together by polished prose and by Olive, the title character, blunt, flawed and fascinating.

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2008 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Riverhead Books)
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2007 The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf)
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2006 March by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
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2005 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar)
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2004 The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad/ HarperCollins)
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2003 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Farrar)
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2002 Empire Falls by Richard Russo (Alfred A. Knopf)
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2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Random House)
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2000 Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin)
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1999 The Hours by Michael Cunningham (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
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1998 American Pastoral by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin)
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1997 Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer by Steven Millhauser (Crown)
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1996 Independence Day by Richard Ford (Alfred A. Knopf)
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1995 The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Viking)
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1994 The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx (Charles Scribner's Sons)
1993 A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler (Henry Holt)
1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (Alfred A. Knopf)
1991 Rabbit At Rest by John Updike (Alfred A. Knopf)
1990 The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos (Farrar)
1989 Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler (Alfred A. Knopf)
1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison (Alfred A. Knopf)
1987 A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor (Alfred A. Knopf)
1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster)
1985 Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie (Random House)
1984 Ironweed by William Kennedy (Viking)
1983 The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Harcourt Brace)
1982 Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike (Knopf)
1981 A Confederacy of Dunces by the late John Kennedy Toole (a posthumous publication) (Louisiana State U. Press)
1980 The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer (Little)
1979 The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever (Knopf)
1978 Elbow Room by James Alan McPherson (Atlantic Monthly Press)
1977 (No Award)
1976 Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow (Viking)
1975 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (McKay)
1974 (No Award)
1973 The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty (Random)
1972 Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (Doubleday)
1971 (No Award)
1970 Collected Stories by Jean Stafford (Farrar)
1969 House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday (Harper)
1968 The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron (Random)
1967 The Fixer by Bernard Malamud (Farrar)
1966 Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter (Harcourt)
1965 The Keepers Of The House by Shirley Ann Grau (Random)
1964 (No Award)
1963 The Reivers by William Faulkner (Random)
1962 The Edge of Sadness by Edwin O'Connor (Little)
1961 To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Lippincott)
1960 Advise and Consent by Allen Drury (Doubleday)
1959 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters by Robert Lewis Taylor (Doubleday)
1958 A Death In The Family by the late James Agee (a posthumous publication) (McDowell, Obolensky)
1957 (No Award)
1956 Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor (World)
1955 A Fable by William Faulkner (Random)
1954 (No Award)
1953 The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner)
1952 The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk (Doubleday)
1951 The Town by Conrad Richter (Knopf)
1950 The Way West by A. B. Guthrie (Sloane)
1949 Guard of Honor by James Gould Cozzens (Harcourt)
1948 Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener (Macmillan)


2015 Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford (Ecco)

An unflinching series of narratives, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, insightfully portraying a society in decline.

2015 The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami (Pantheon)

A creative narrative of the ill-fated 16th Century Spanish expedition to Florida, compassionately imagined out of the gaps and silences of history.

2015 Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)

A rich collection of stories told from many rungs of the social ladder and distinguished by their intelligence, language and technique.

2014 The Son by Philipp Meyer (Ecco)

A sweeping multi-generational novel that illuminates the violence and enterprise of the American West by tracing a Texas family’s passage from lethal frontier perils to immense oil-boom wealth.

2014 The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis (Atlantic Monthly Press)

A novel spanning 50 years and three continents that explores the murky world of American foreign policy before 9/11, using provocative themes to raise difficult moral questions.

2013 What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander (Alfred A. Knopf)

A diverse yet consistently masterful collection of stories that explore Jewish identity and questions of modern life in ways that can both delight and unsettle the reader.

2013 The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown)

An enchanting novel about an older homesteading couple who long for a child amid the hard wilderness of Alaska and a feral girl who emerges from the woods to bring them hope.

2012 Train Dreams by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

A novella about a day laborer in the old American West, bearing witness to terrors and glories with compassionate, heartbreaking calm.

2012 Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (Alfred A. Knopf)

An adventure tale about an eccentric family adrift in its failing alligator-wrestling theme park, told by a 13-year-old heroine wise beyond her years.

2012 The Pale King, by the late David Foster Wallace

A posthumously completed novel, animated by grand ambition, that explores boredom and bureaucracy in the American workplace.

2011 The Privileges by Jonathan Dee (Random House)

A contemporary, wide ranging tale about an elite Manhattan family, moral bankruptcy and the long reach of wealth.

2011 The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead Books)

A haunting and often heartbreaking epic whose characters explore the deep reverberations of love, devotion and war.

2010 Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet (Soft Skull Press)

An imaginative collection of linked stories, often describing a memorable encounter between a famous person and an animal, underscoring the human folly of longing for significance while chasing trifles.

2010 In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin (W.W. Norton & Company)

A collection of beautifully crafted stories that exposes the Western reader to the hopes, dreams and dramas of an array of characters in feudal Pakistan, resulting in both an aesthetic and cultural achievement.

2009 The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins)

A haunting novel that explores racial discord, loss of land and changing fortunes in a corner of North Dakota where Native Americans and whites share a tangled history.

2009 All Souls by Christine Schutt (Harcourt)

A memorable novel that focuses on the senior class at an exclusive all-girl Manhattan prep school where a beloved student battles a rare cancer, fiercely honest, carefully observed and subtly rendered.

2008 Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
2008 Shakespeare’s Kitchen by Lore Segal (The New Press)
2007 After This by Alice McDermott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
2007 The Echo Maker by Richard Powers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
2006 The March by E.L. Doctorow (Random House)
2006 The Bright Forever by Lee Martin (Shaye Areheart Books/Crown Publishing)
2005 War Trash by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
2005 An Unfinished Season by Ward Just (Houghton Mifflin)
2004 American Woman by Susan Choi (HarperCollins)
2004 Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins (Simon & Schuster)
2003 Servants of the Map: Stories by Andrea Barrett (W.W. Norton)
2003 You Are Not a Stranger Here by Adam Haslett (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
2002 The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar)
2002 John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
2001 Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates (The Ecco Press/HarperCollins)
2001 The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams (Alfred A. Knopf)
2000 Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx (Scribner)
2000 Waiting by Ha Jin (Pantheon Books)
1999 Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks (HarperFlamingo)
1999 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (HarperFlamingo)
1998 Underworld by Don DeLillo (Scribner)
1998 Bear and His Daughter: Stories by Robert Stone (Houghton Mifflin)
1997 Unlocking the Air and Other Stories by Ursula K. LeGuin (HarperCollins)
1997 The Manikin by Joanna Scott (Henry Holt)
1996 Mr. Ives' Christmas by Oscar Hijuelos (HarperCollins)
1996 Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth (Houghton Mifflin)
1995 What I Lived For by Joyce Carol Oates (Dutton)
1995 The Collected Stories by Grace Paley (Farrar)
1994 The Collected Stories by Reynolds Price (Atheneum)
1994 Operation Shylock: A Confession by Philip Roth (Simon & Schuster)
1993 At Weddings and Wakes by Alice McDermott (Farrar Straus Giroux)
1993 Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates (Dutton)
1992 Mao II by Don DeLillo (Viking)
1992 Jernigan by David Gates (Alfred A. Knopf)
1992 Lila: An Inquiry into Morals by Robert M. Pirsig (Bantam Books)
1991 Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan (Atheneum)
1991 The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (Houghton Mifflin)
1990 Billy Bathgate by E.L. Doctorow (Random House)
1989 Where I'm Calling From by the late Raymond Carver (Atlantic Monthly)
1988 Persian Nights by Diane Johnson (Alfred A. Knopf)
1988 That Night by Alice McDermott (Farrar)
1987 Paradise by Donald Barthelme (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
1987 Whites by Norman Rush (Alfred A. Knopf)
1986 Continental Drift by Russell Banks (Harper & Row)
1986 The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler (Alfred A. Knopf)
1985 I Wish This War Were Over by Diana O'Hehir (Atheneum)
1985 Leaving the Land by Douglas Unger (Harper & Row)
1984 The Feud by Thomas Berger (Delacorte)
1984 Cathedral by Raymond Carver (Knopf)
1983 Rabbis and Wives by the late Chaim Grade (Knopf)
1983 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler (Knopf)
1982 Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar)
1982 A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone (Knopf)
1981 Godric by Frederick Buechner (Atheneum)
1981 So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell (Knopf)
1980 The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth (Farrar)
1980 Birdy by William Wharton (Knopf)