The Black Count Wins Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Tom Reiss, Author of acclaimed novel The Black Count, describes how he encountered his subject.

the black count

Read It Forward introduced you to The Black Count by Tom Reiss long before it hit the shelves last September.

Winners of our Read It First giveaway couldn’t stop talking about this remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, saying that it read like a page-turning novel. Reviewers raved. Nominations for prestigious awards followed.

And now, author Tom Reiss has been awarded the biggest award of all: the Pulitzer Prize for Biography. Well-deserved congratulations!

“I first came across Gen. Dumas’s life in the memoir of his son Alexandre, the novelist,” says author Tom Reiss.

“And what a life! Alex Dumas, as he preferred to be known, was born in Saint Domingue, later Haiti, the son of a black slave and a good-for-nothing French aristocrat who came to the islands to make a quick killing and instead barely survived. In fact, to get back to France in order to claim an inheritance, he actually ‘pawned’ his black son into slavery, but then he bought him out, brought him to Paris, and enrolled him in the royal fencing academy, and then the story begins to get interesting.”

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Continue reading the Letter from Tom Reiss on what inspired him to write his award-winning book.

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TOM REISS is the author of the celebrated international bestseller The Orientalist.   His biographical pieces have appeared The New YorkerThe New York Times and other publications.  He makes his home in New York City. Visit the author online at

About Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

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