Anthony Doerr and Elizabeth Kolbert win 2015 Pulitzer Prizes

Anthony Doerr, author of "All the Light We Cannot See," has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
Anthony Doerr, author of “All the Light We Cannot See,” has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
(Shauna Doerr / Associated Press)

Anthony Doerr won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction Monday for his World War II novel “All the Light We Cannot See,” published by Scribner, which the Pulitzer committee called “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.”

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, reviewer Steph Cha called Doerr’s book “ambitious and majestic without bluntness or overdependence on heartbreak.” The finalists for the fiction prize were Joyce Carol Oates for “Lovely, Dark, Deep,” Richard Ford for “Let Me Be Frank With You” and UC Riverside creative writing professor Laila Lalami for “The Moor’s Account.”

The winner in the general nonfiction category was “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert, published by Henry Holt. The biography prize was awarded to “The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe” by David I. Kertzer, published by Random House.


Gregory Pardlo won the prize for poetry for his collection “Digest,” published by small nonprofit press Four Way Books, and Stephen Adly Guirgis was given the drama prize for his play “Between Riverside and Crazy.”

Elizabeth A. Fenn won the history prize for “Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People,” published by Hill and Wang.

The Pulitzer Prizes, currently in their 99th year, are awarded by the Columbia University School of Journalism. A complete list of the winners and nominated finalists can be found at the Pulitzer website.