Pulitzer Prize Awardees for General Nonfiction


The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time (1994)

Written by Jonathan Weiner

On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory.  For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch.

In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould. This book won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. (Copyright © Vintage/Random House. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Penguin Random House Company.

A natural storyteller and an intrepid reporter with a gift for making cutting-edge science understandable, Jonathan Weiner is one of the most distinguished popular-science writers in the country. He majored in English at Harvard. He learned to write about science in the early 1980s while working at the magazine the Sciences.

His books have won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and many other newspapers and magazines. In 2000 and 2001, he served as Rockefeller University’s first Writer in Residence. He is the author of Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality (2010), The Beak of the Finch (1994), Time, Love, Memory: A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior (1999), His Brother’s Keeper (2004), The Next One Hundred Years: Shaping the Fate of Our Living Earth (1990), and Planet Earth (1986).

While working on His Brother's Keeper, he was writer-in-residence at Rockefeller University. He teaches science writing at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He lives in New York with his wife, Deborah Heiligman, the children's book author.


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