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Pulitzer Prizes for books by Anthony Doerr, Elizabeth Kolbert

Anthony Doerr, author of

Anthony Doerr, author of "All the Light We Cannot See" (Scribner, May 2014). Credit: Isabelle Selby

All the Light We Cannot See,” a bestselling historical novel by Anthony Doerr, has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Doerr’s novel relates the story of a blind French girl and a German soldier in Nazi-occupied France during World War II. The jury’s citation praised it as “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.”

The general nonfiction prize went to “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by New Yorker magazine writer Elizabeth Kolbert. The book examines how climate change and human behavior have affected plant and animal life on the planet, in many cases causing mass extinctions of certain species. The Pulitzer citation said that Kolbert “forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity.”

“Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People” by Elizabeth A. Fenn, about the Native American tribe, received the Pulitzer Prize for history. David I. Kertzer’s “The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe” was awarded the biography prize. The poetry award went to “Digest” by Gregory Pardlo.

A complete list of prize winners and finalists is at

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