Playwright Katori Hall has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for her comedy “The Hot Wing King.” The organization behind journalism’s most prestigious honor also bestowed a special citation on Darnella Frazier, the teenager who videotaped George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police in May 2020.

Hall is also a showrunner and executive producer of the Starz drama “P-Valley.” “Hot Wing King” opened Feb. 11, 2020, at New York’s Signature Theater but was forced to close only weeks later by the pandemic. The Pulitzer board cited Hall’s work for its “funny, deeply felt consideration of Black masculinity and how it is perceived, filtered through the experiences of a loving gay couple and their extended family as they prepare for a culinary competition.”

Frazier’s special citation commended her “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”

Novelist Louise Erdrich earned the trophy for fiction for “The Night Watchman,” described by the board as “a majestic, polyphonic novel about a community’s efforts to halt the proposed displacement and elimination of several Native
American tribes in the 1950s, rendered with dexterity and imagination.”

Nonfiction honors went to “Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy,”
by David Zucchino. The book is “a gripping account of the overthrow of the elected government of a Black-majority North Carolina city after Reconstruction that untangles a complicated set of power dynamics cutting across race, class and gender,” the board stated.

The music nod went to “Stride,” by Tania León, which premiered Feb. 13, 2020 at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The board called it “a musical journey full of surprise, with powerful brass and rhythmic motifs that incorporate Black music traditions from the US and the Caribbean into a Western orchestral fabric.”

Here is a complete list of 2021 Pulitzer Prize winners:


Public Service
The New York Times

Breaking News Reporting
Staff of the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minn.

Investigative Reporting
Matt Rocheleau, Vernal Coleman, Laura Crimaldi, Evan Allen and Brendan McCarthy of The Boston Globe

Explanatory Reporting
Ed Yong of The Atlantic


Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, Jaimi Dowdell and Jackie Botts of Reuters

Local Reporting
Kathleen McGrory and Neil Bedi of the Tampa Bay Times

National Reporting
Staffs of The Marshall Project; AL.com, Birmingham; IndyStar, Indianapolis; and the Invisible Institute, Chicago

International Reporting
Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing and Christo Buschek of BuzzFeed News, New York

Feature Writing
Nadja Drost, freelance contributor, The California Sunday Magazine


Mitchell S. Jackson, freelance contributor, Runner’s World

Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch

Wesley Morris of The New York Times

Editorial Writing
Robert Greene of the Los Angeles Times

Editorial Cartooning
No award

Breaking News Photography
Photography Staff of Associated Press

Feature Photography
Emilio Morenatti of Associated Press

Audio Reporting
Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith and Robert Little of National Public Radio


“The Night Watchman,” by Louise Erdrich (Harper)

“The Hot Wing King,” by Katori Hall

“Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” by Marcia Chatelain (Liveright/Norton)

“The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X,” by the late Les Payne and Tamara Payne (Liveright/Norton)

“Postcolonial Love Poem,” by Natalie Diaz (Graywolf Press)

General Nonfiction
“Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy,” by David Zucchino (Atlantic Monthly Press)

“Stride,” by Tania León, premiered on February 13, 2020 at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City (Peermusic Classical)


Darnella Frazier

(Pictured: Katori Hall)