The Prize Pulitzer

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Roxanne Pulitzer rocketed from the tiny town of Cassadaga, New York, to the fast-paced existence of the leisure class. Her naivete and adoration for her husband led her to accept his excessive domination. The Pulitzers’ lifestyle included expensive hunting trips, nannies for the children, drugs, and kinky sex. Many of the rich and famous are mentioned, but the book has few new revelations.

Those who followed the sensational press coverage of the divorce will find that the book denies much of the testimony. If you believe Roxanne, her behavior during their marriage was no worse than her husband’s. He also used cocaine, and he instigated a menage a trois. He saw other women, and he kept Roxanne on a tight budget. Through clever courtroom tactics, her twin sons were taken away from their devoted mother. Herbert was a disinterested father who wanted custody of the children primarily to spite her.

Do not be misled by this title. THE PRIZE PULITZER has only a few paragraphs about the publishing dynasty and the awards Herbert Pulitzer’s grandfather founded. Nor does the book have any connection to literary merit; collaborator Kathleen Maxa evidently decided that making the almost juvenile confessional style more sophisticated would lessen the story’s credibility. Pick this one up only if you cannot resist hearing what a sad life some wealthy people live.