Novelists Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu were among the 23 fellows who have won a $500,000 “genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation this year.
In a crazy twist of fate, both are Riverhead Books novelists. Other writers on the list were journalist and author David Finkel and historian Dylan C. Penningroth. The AP has the complete list at this link.
Here’s more about the awards, from 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.”