In 1964, there were no award winners of the Pulitzer Prize in the categories of drama, music, and fiction. It was the first time since the prizes first began in 1917 that three separate categories failed to win an award. Upon the annual announcements in the Spring of 1964, publicly members of the 14-member advisory board reported that the Fiction Jury did not offer a single finalist for the award.
In 1964, the Fiction Jury apparently considered Norman Fruchter’s Coat Upon a Stick, May Sarton’s novella Joanna and Ulysses, Sumner Locke Elliott’s Careful, He Might Hear You, and John Killens’ And Then We Heard the Thunder. However, the Fiction Jury ultimately recommended that no award be given because “no one of them imposes itself upon us as demanding recognition as ‘distinguished fiction’….”