An excellent idea: the first in a projected series of annual volumes collecting work that won its authors that year's Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. For each category, either the article or series of articles that garnered the prize is reprinted, or, in cases where the prize was awarded for a large body of work--here, for instance, to book-reviewer Richard Eder of the L.A. Times for distinguished criticism--a representative sampling of that work is included. Among the many highlights here: pieces by Andrew Schneider and Matthew Brelis of the Pittsburgh Press on drug use by airline pilots (winner in the public service category); the exploration by Jeff Lyon and Peter Gorner of the Chicago Tribune of gene therapy (award for explanatory journalism); and, as co-winners in the investigative reporting category, the N. Y. Times staffs look at NASA in the wake of the Challenger disaster. Also included is work by prize-winning photographers and by Berke Breathed for the cartoon strip ""Bloom County"" (for editorial cartooning); and, happily, each selection or group of selections is prefaced by a short explanatory essay written by the respective prize-winner(s).