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$625,000 'genius grants' go to Ocean Vuong and six other writers


The MacArthur Foundation honours, which encourage winners to ‘continue to innovate’, also won by Valeria Luiselli, Lynda Berry and Emily Wilson

Ocean Vuong, the award-winning poet who came to the US with his family aged two as a refugee from Vietnam, is one of seven writers to be awarded a so-called “genius grant” of $625,000 (£504,000) by the MacArthur Foundation.

The no-strings-attached fellowships are intended to allow recipients to “continue to innovate, take risks, and pursue their vision”. Vuong was chosen alongside six other writers: graphic novelist Lynda Barry, cultural historian Saidiya Hartman, the Booker-longlisted author Valeria Luiselli, American historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez, literary scholar Jeffrey Miller and classicist Emily Wilson, who in 2017 was the first woman to publish a translation of Homer’s Odyssey in English.

Related: Ocean Vuong and the new Great American Novel - books podcast

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