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Karen Russell, Coral Gables Author Of "Swamplandia!", Snubbed For Fiction Pulitizer

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/16/2012 4:40 pm Updated: 04/17/2012 9:00 am

Coral Gables native Karen Russell and her book about South Florida, "Swamplandia!," were snubbed for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year. In fact, all the fiction finalists got shafted.

"Swamplandia!" was up against "Train Dreams" by Denis Johnson and "The Pale King" by post-modernism golden boy David Foster Wallace.

In the end, however, the Pulitzer board just couldn’t come up with a consensus on which literature endeavor should win -- a voting snafu that hasn't happened since 1977.

"The three books were fully considered, but in the end, none mustered the mandatory majority for granting a prize, so no prize was awarded," said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. "This is the 11th time this has happened in the fiction category" adding "It's unusual, but it does occur."

Russell has said that she wrote "Swamplandia!", a magical realist novel about a haunted gator amusement park, because she always felt her childhood here had a "pretty short commute to strangeness." Russell is an alum of Coral Gables Senior High.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that it was the jurors who decided not to award a fiction prize. The jurors choose the unranked three finalists and the Pulitzer board chooses the winner.

Read Twitter reactions to the lack of a fiction prize this year:

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