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'Post And Courier' Of Charleston, S.C., Wins Pulitzer For Public Service

Updated at 3:21 p.m. ET

The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize award for public service for Till Death Do Us Part, a series the award's panel said "probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the union for women and put the issue of what to do about it on the state's agenda."

Glenn Smith, special project editor at the Post and Courier and a reporter on the seven-part series, spoke to WNYC's The Takeaway last year about the stories, pointing to inherited notions of violence.

"Guys grow up to believe this is how you treat women," he said. "Women grow up to believe this is how you're supposed to be treated by your man."

You can listen to that conversation here.

The New York Times won three Pulitzers: for investigative reporting, an award it shared with staff of The Wall Street Journal; for international reporting, and for feature photography. The Los Angeles Times won two — for criticism and feature writing. The Pulitzer for national reporting was won by The Washington Post for its reporting on the Secret Service scandal.

The prize for fiction was won by Anthony Doerr for his novel All the Light We Cannot See. The committee called the novel "an imaginative and intricate novel inspired by the horrors of World War II and written in short, elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology."

Speaking to NPR last year, Doerr spoke of his first inspiration for the book. Here's more from that conversation:

"I was on a train heading into Penn Station from Princeton, N.J., and we started going underground. The man in front of me was on his cellphone call — this was in 2004 — and the call dropped. And he got kind of angry, a little embarrassingly angry, unreasonably angry.

"And I just remember thinking, what he's forgetting — really what we're all forgetting all the time — is that this is a miracle. He's using this little receiver and transmitter, this little radio in his pocket, to send messages at the speed of light rebounding between towers to somebody maybe thousands of miles away. He might have been talking to someone in Madagascar for all I knew. For me, that's a miracle.

"So ... originally, the real central motivation for the book was to try and conjure up a time when hearing the voice of a stranger in your home was a miracle."

Stephen Adly Guirgis won the award for drama for Between Riverside and Crazy, and Gregory Pardlo won the poetry award for Digest. Reporter Elizabeth Kolbert won the general nonfiction award for her book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

Here's the complete list of winners announced today:


Public service: The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.

Breaking news reporting: The Seattle Times staff

Investigative reporting: Eric Lipton of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal staff

Explanatory reporting: Zachary R. Mider of Bloomberg News

Local reporting: Rob Kuznia, Rebecca Kimitch and Frank Suraci of the Daily Breeze, Torrance, Calif.

National reporting: Carol D. Leonnig of The Washington Post

International reporting: The New York Times staff

Feature writing: Diana Marcum of the Los Angeles Times

Commentary: Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle

Criticism: Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times

Editorial writing: Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe

Editorial cartooning: Adam Zyglis of The Buffalo News

Breaking news photography: St. Louis Post-Dispatch photography staff

Feature photography: Daniel Berehulak, freelance photographer, The New York Times

Letters, Drama and Music

Fiction: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner)

Drama: Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis

History: Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth A. Fenn (Hill and Wang)

Biography or autobiography: The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europeby David I. Kertzer (Random House)

Poetry: Digest by Gregory Pardlo (Four Way Books)

General nonfiction: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt)

Music: Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe (Red Poppy Music/G. Schirmer Inc.)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.