N. K. Jemisin, four-time Hugo-winning sff author, and Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, are among the 2020 MacArthur Foundation Fellows. (See the complete list here.)
The MacArthur Fellowships, also known as “Genius Grants,” are worth $625,000, paid in quarterly installments over five years.
The MacArthur Foundation comments on the selections:
Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a lifetime achievement award, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential. Indeed, the purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society.
N. K. Jemisin (complete citation)
N. K. Jemisin is a speculative fiction writer exploring deeply human questions about structural racism, environmental crises, and familial relationships while immersing readers in intricately imagined, fantastical worlds. The societies she constructs are populated by protagonists who push against the conventions of earlier-era science fiction and epic fantasy, which often feature male-dominated casts of characters and draw heavily from the legends of medieval Europe. Her multi-volume sagas counterbalance the monumental themes of oppression and exploitation with attentiveness to the more intimate inner workings of families and communities and the range of emotions—from love to rage, resentment to empathy—that they inspire….
Jacqueline Woodson (complete citation)
Jacqueline Woodson is a writer redefining children’s and young adult literature in works that reflect the complexity and diversity of the world we live in while stretching young readers’ intellectual abilities and capacity for empathy. In nearly thirty publications that span picture books, young adult novels, and poetry, Woodson crafts stories about Black children, teenagers, and families that evoke the hopefulness and power of human connection even as they tackle difficult issues such as the history of slavery and segregation, incarceration, interracial relationships, social class, gender, and sexual identity….
The complete class of Fellows are introduced in this video:
[Thanks to James Davis Nicoll for the story.]