When the Pulitzers were announced in April, the winning play took Broadway by surprise; it had never been staged in New York. Not only that, but none of the jurors nor the members of the Pulitzer board had even seen the play. Anna in the Tropics, by Nilo Cruz M.F.A. ’94, won on the strength of its script alone, beating out competition that included Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Set in a Tampa cigar factory in 1929, Cruz’s play depicts the threat that mechanization poses to the traditions of the local Cuban-American community—and particularly the lyrical role of the lector, who in the play reads Anna Karenina to the workers as they roll cigars by hand.
Jeffrey Eugenides ’82 won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction with Middlesex, his account of a Greek immigrant family’s transgenerational, transcultural, and even transsexual encounter with America.