Great news today for local literature. Miami author Edwidge Danticat, 40, was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Genius" grant. Besides the obvious prestige, the award comes packaged with a hefty sum: $100,000 a year for five years with no stipulations.
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Some of the other 23 winners were poet Heather McHugh, 61; filmmaker James Longley, 37; and investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell, 50. All of the winners received the news via a single phone call. (I hope they were sitting down.)
Danticat is the author of The Farming of Bones (1999), The Dew Breaker (2004), Brother, I'm Dying (2007), and several other fiction and nonfiction works, many of which explore the modern Haitian and Haitian-American experience.