NEW YORK — Unable to choose a fiction winner, Pulitzer Prize officials made a decision guaranteed to satisfy no one.

They passed.

For the first time in 35 years, no fiction award was given. Booksellers will have to hope that other winners announced Monday, including the late Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X, will attract some of the customers who might have sought the fiction winner.

Quiara Alegria Hudes’ play “Water by the Spoonful,” which centers on an Iraq war veteran’s search for meaning, won the Pulitzer for drama.

John Lewis Gaddis’ “George F. Kennan: An American Life,” won the Pulitzer for biography.

“Life on Mars,” by Tracy K. Smith, won the poetry prize.

The general nonfiction prize was given to “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.”

Kevin Puts’ “Silent Night: Opera in Two Acts” was honored for music.

The Associated Press won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism for revealing the New York Police Department’s widespread spying on Muslims, while The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., and a 24-year-old reporter captured the award for local reporting for breaking the Penn State scandal.

The turmoil-ridden Philadelphia Inquirer won in the public service category for exposing pervasive violence in the city’s schools. David Wood earned a Pulitzer in national reporting for a relative newcomer, The Huffington Post, for stories about the suffering endured by American troops severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.