Columbia University in the US has announced the winners of the 2023 Pulitzer Prizes, awarded on the recommendation of the Pulitzer Prize Board.
Announced on 8 May 2023, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama 2023 is Sanaz Toossi for English.
Finalists are Aleshea Harris for On Sugarland, and Lloyd Suh for The Far Country.
One-act play English first premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. Sanaz Toossi is an Iranian American playwright from Orange County in California, and whose other works include Wish You Were Here.
The New York Times called the drama “a rich new play”, that is “both contemplative and comic, it nails every opportunity for big laughs as its English-learning characters struggle with accents and idioms. But the laughter provides cover for the deeper idea that their struggle is not just linguistic”.
The play sees four Iranians and their language teacher find second selves in a second tongue.
On Sugarland by Aleshea Harris is an ambitious drama inspired by Sophocles about a community shaped by the trauma of a nameless war; and The Far Country, by Lloyd Suh, is an account of emigrants who traveled from China to San Francisco and suffered in the shadows of a strange new world.
Previous Pulitzer Prize for Drama winners include last year’s winner James Ijames, who won for Fat Ham.
This year’s recipients will constitute the 107th class of Pulitzer Prize winners. The first prizes were given in 1917 for work done in 1916.
The Pulitzer Prizes were established by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher, who left money to Columbia University upon his death in 1911. A portion of his bequest was used to found the School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.