The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life, published during the preceding calendar year. As the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel, it was one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year. (No Novel prize was awarded in 1917; the first was awarded in 1918.)
Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily a total of three.
The Neustadt International Prize for Literature was established as the Books Abroad International Prize for Literature in 1969 by Ivar Ivask, editor of Books Abroad. It was subsequently renamed the Books Abroad/Neustadt Prize, and the award assumed its present name in 1976. It is the first international literary award of this scope to originate in the United States and is one of the very few international prizes for which poets, novelists, and playwrights are equally eligible.
The Prize itself presently consists of a silver eagle feather, a certificate and $50,000 USD. The award’s financial endowment by Walter and Doris Neustadt of Ardmore, Oklahoma ensures the award in perpetuity.
The charter of the Neustadt Prize stipulates that the award be given in recognition of outstanding achievement in poetry, fiction, or drama and that it be conferred solely on the basis of literary merit. Any living author writing in any language is eligible, provided only that at least a representative portion of his or her work is available in English, the language used during the jury deliberations. The prize may serve to crown a lifetime’s achievement or to direct attention to an important body of work that is still developing. The prize is not open to application.