Stay True by Hua Hsu has won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Memoir. The board calls it, “an elegant and poignant coming of age account that considers intense, youthful friendships but also random violence that can suddenly and permanently alter the presumed logic of our personal narratives.”
To celebrate this huge honor, check out our recommendations for books to read by Pulitzer Prize–winning writers!
Stay True by Hua Hsu
After arriving at Berkley, eighteen-year-old Hua—the son of Taiwanese immigrants, who makes ’zines and haunts Bay Area record shops—meets Ken, whose Japanese American family has been in the United States for generations and who is, in a word, mainstream. Despite their differences, Hua and Ken become friends, a friendship built on late-night conversations over cigarettes, long drives along the California coast, and the successes and humiliations of everyday college life. And then violently, senselessly, Ken is gone, killed in a carjacking, not even three years after the day they first meet.
Determined to hold on to all that was left of one of his closest friends—his memories—Hua turned to writing. Stay True is the book he’s been working on ever since. A coming-of-age story that details both the ordinary and extraordinary, Stay True is a bracing memoir about growing up, and about moving through the world in search of meaning and belonging.
“An elegantly structured, ambitious work of cultural criticism.” —Roxane Gay, “My 2022 in Reading”
In her much-anticipated follow-up to Negroland, Jefferson brings important figures to life in a memoir of stunning originality, a performance of the elements that comprise and occupy the mind of one of our foremost critics.
“Colson Whitehead has a couple of Pulitzers under his belt, along with several other awards celebrating his outstanding novels. Harlem Shuffle is a suspenseful crime thriller that’s sure to add to the tally — it’s a fabulous novel you must read.” —NPR.org
Two-time Pulitzer winner Colson Whitehead returns with Harlem Shuffle, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.
“Pitch perfect…. Darkly, rippingly funny…. Egan possesses a satirist’s eye and a romance novelist’s heart.” —The New York Times Book Review
From the award-winning and bestselling author Jennifer Egan, this Pulitzer Prize–winning novel is a dazzling, shape-shifting new work of fiction that spans fifty years and stars an aging record executive and the passionate, troubled young woman he employs.
“A remarkably powerful novel [and] a ferociously well-paced entertainment…. Forceful, cerebral, and impeccably controlled.” —The New York Times
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Goldfinch, The Secret History is Donna Tartt’s riveting classic about an elite group of students at a private New England college and the terrifying secret that binds them together.
“McCarthy returns with a one-two punch…a welcome return from a legend.” —Esquire
The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Road returns with the first of a two-volume masterpiece: The Passenger is the story of a salvage diver, haunted by loss, afraid of the watery deep, pursued for a conspiracy beyond his understanding, and longing for a death he cannot reconcile with God.