Novelists Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu Recipients Of MacArthur Genius Grants

Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu Recipients Of Genius Grants

Novelists Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu are among the scientists, artists and thinkers named as 2012 MacArthur Fellows, by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. That means they'll be awarded $500,000 to write and be smart and stuff. Must be nice. 

Incidentally, both authors are published by Riverhead Books

Here's what the award entails, as described by the foundation

“The recipients learned, through a phone call out of the blue from the Foundation, that they will each receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years. MacArthur Fellowships come without stipulations or reporting requirements and offer Fellows unprecedented freedom and opportunity to reflect, create, and explore. The unusual level of independence afforded to Fellows underscores the spirit of freedom intrinsic to creative endeavors. The work of MacArthur Fellows knows neither boundaries nor the constraints of age, place, and endeavor.”

The Associated Press has the entire list, in case you were wondering who else is more awesome than you. 

Seriously though, cheers to Diaz and Mengestu. They're in illustrious company, and hey, I'm sure the money ain't bad, either. 

Anyone read with their work? Are they indeed geniuses? 

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postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 2, 2012 - 6:40am

thanks for the head's up - I went through the history of prize winners to glean the novelists - turns out, I'm culturally ignorant - I haven't heard of the majority of these geniuses. I recognized Susan Sontag & David Foster Wallace. (only went as far back as 1990)

Sound's picture
Sound from Azusa, CA is reading Greener Pastures by Michael Wehunt October 2, 2012 - 7:05am

I have read two of Diazs books ( Brief Wondro & Drown) and I'm currently reading his third. all three are , but brief wondrous life of oscar wao is one our my favorite books. His books are the perfect combination of several things. They're funny, tragic, real, and always have a great mix of good characters. A genius? Not sure about that. He's an outstanding writer for sure, though.

postpomo's picture
postpomo from Canada is reading words words words October 2, 2012 - 10:15am

considering the number of recipients of the Genius Grant since 1981, it would be hard to unequivoccally refer to them all as geniuses.

Although I noticed Cormac McCarthy won.