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Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prizes for 2012 were announced, and snagging the win in the history category was the biographical New York Times bestseller, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.”

The win was bittersweet considering the author, Manning Marable, died three days before the book was published last April. According to the New York Times, the Columbia University professor:

“spent two decades researching the black nationalist leader’s transformation from petty criminal to separatist firebrand to mainstream Muslim preaching peace to, finally, martyr…

“In untangling the mythologies surrounding Malcolm X, including his own best-selling autobiography, Mr. Marable achieved what the citation called ‘a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and the tragic.'”

Marable died of complications from pneumonia on April 1, 2011 in New York City at the age of 60.

Another surprise among this year’s Pulitzer wins is that no work of fiction was deemed worthy of the $10,000 award, making this the first time this happened in 35 years. You can check out the full list of nominees and winners here.

Have you read Marable’s biography of Malcolm X?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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