School of the Arts Alumni Named Finalists in 2024 Pulitzer Prizes

Carlos Barragán
May 10, 2024

The 2024 Pulitzer Prizes were announced by Columbia University on May 6, 2024, and the list features three School of the Arts alumni and several Columbia alumni among the finalists and winners.

The Pulitzer Prizes, annual awards hosted by Columbia University in New York, celebrate excellence across journalism, arts, and letters in the United States. Established by Joseph Pulitzer in 1917, the prizes continue to highlight the best professionals in these fields.

Adjunct Assistant Professor Ed Park ’95 was named a finalist in Fiction for his book Same Bed Different Dream (Random House, 2023). The Pulitzer board described it as an inventive postmodern novel that moves from the brutal Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula to a lonely Korean American boy’s passion for the Buffalo Sabres, using interlinked narratives that jump historical and imaginary time zones with humor, sorrow and irreverence.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre Vinson Cunningham was a finalist in the category of Criticism for his theater reviews in The New Yorker. They reflect, according to the Pulitzer board, a formidable knowledge of the stage and the mechanics of performance along with canny observations on the human condition.

Directing alumnus Shayok Misha Chowdhury ’16 was a finalist in the Drama category for Public Obscenities, a play described by the Pulitzer Board as a densely written, deeply-felt drama that examines identity, home, queerness, and language through the lens of a Bengali American reuniting with his family in India.

Other Columbia University alumni were also among the winners and finalists.

Ilyon Woo (GSAS '04) won in the Biography category for her book Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom (37 Ink, 2023). Nathan Thrall (GSAS '06) won in the General Nonfiction category for his book A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy (Metropolitan Books, 2023). In the Music category, Tyshawn Sorey (GSAS '17) won the Pulitzer for his work Adagio (For Wadada Leo Smith). Mary Kouyoumdjian's (GSAS '21) Paper Pianos was a finalist in the same category.

See the full list of winners and finalists here.