2022 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction
by Andrea Elliott
In Invisible Child, Pulitzer Prize winner Andrea Elliott follows eight dramatic years in the life of Dasani, a girl whose imagination is as soaring as the skyscrapers near her Brooklyn shelter. In this sweeping narrative, Elliott weaves the story of Dasani's childhood with the history of her ancestors, tracing their passage from slavery to the Great Migration north. As Dasani comes of age, New York City's homeless crisis has exploded, deepening the chasm between rich and poor. She must guide her siblings through a world riddled by hunger, violence, racism, drug addiction, and the threat of foster care. Out on the street, Dasani becomes a fierce fighter "to protect those who I love." When she finally escapes city life to enroll in a boarding school, she faces an impossible question: What if leaving poverty means abandoning your family, and yourself?
A work of luminous and riveting prose, Elliott's Invisible Child reads like a page-turning novel. It is an astonishing story about the power of resilience, the importance of family, and the cost of inequality — told through the crucible of one remarkable girl.
The Pulitzer Prize has been awarded by Columbia University each spring since 1917. The awards are chosen by a board of jurors for Journalism, Letters, Music and Drama. The awards for Letters include Nonfiction, Poetry, Biography or Autobiography, History, and Fiction.