American novelist Richard Powers has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Overstory (published by William Heinemann in the UK, Norton in the US).
Powers won the award for his Man Booker-shortlisted novel about the destruction of forests, beating off competition from authors Rebecca Makkai for the The Great Believers (Viking US/Fleet UK), inspired partly by the AIDs epidemic in 1980's America, and Tommy Orange’s There There (Knopf US/Harvill Secker UK) about an urban indigenous community in California.
David W Blight won the history prize for Frederick Douglas (Simon & Schuster), about the former slave who became a famed writer and abolitionists.
Other winners at the ceremony on Monday afternoon (15th April) included The New Negro by Jeffrey C Stewart (Oxford University Press USA) for biography about the patron of the arts, philosopher and writer Alain Locke, while Eliza Griswold won the non-fiction award for her investigation into rural America in Amity and Prosperity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Meanwhile Forrest Gander won the poetry prize for his collection Be With (New Directions).
Powers returned to Penguin Random House for The Overstory after publishing his 2014 Man Booker-longlisted book, Orfeo, with Atlantic.
The Pulitzer comes with an award of $15,000.