Heather Ann Thompson, a former UNC Charlotte faculty member, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in history for Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon).
Thompson, currently a professor at the University of Michigan, was a member of the UNC Charlotte History Department in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences from 1997 to 2009.
She returned to the Queen City in November 2016 to discuss her book during a public event sponsored by the University’s Center for the Study of the New South, housed in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The Center
Thompson won in the Pulitzer Prize category of Letters, Drama and Music (History) “for a narrative history that sets high standards for scholarly judgment and tenacity of inquiry in seeking the truth about the 1971 Attica prison riots.”
Thompson received the prize on Monday, April 10, 2017. Thompson spent more than a decade researching the 1971 prison uprising in upstate New York in which armed troopers and corrections officers killed 39 men – hostages as well as prisoners – and severely wounded more than 100 others during a four-day showdown inside Attica.
Her book also was named #1 on Kirkus Reviews’ “Best Heartrending Fiction List,” and was named to Newsweek‘s “Our Favorite Books of 2016” list, to the Boston Globe‘s “Best Books of 2016” list and to Medium.com‘s “The Best Human Rights Books of 2016” list. It was a 2016 National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction.