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Edwidge Danticat named as MacArthur Fellow

23rd September 2009

Haitian-American novelist Edwidge Danticat has been named as one of the 24 MacArthur Fellows for 2009.

The 40-year-old writer will now receive USD 500,000 (GBP 304,000) in support over the next five years from the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, which was established to recognise creative people and institutions working for a better world.

Noting her 'graceful, deceptively simple prose', the organisation singled out Danticat's 1999 novel The Farming of Bones and 2004's The Dewbreaker as showing how she challenges readers to understand horrific atrocities committed by mankind.

'Danticat provides a nuanced portrait of the intersection between nation and diaspora, home and exile, and reminds us of the power of human resistance, renewal and endurance against great obstacles,' the foundation commented.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the author said she hopes her being awarded the so-called genius grant will focus attention on the literary talent found in her Caribbean homeland of Haiti.

Short story writer Deborah Eisenberg, whose most recent work is Twilight of the Superheroes, is also included in the foundation's list of new Fellows.

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