MacArthur Fellows Lydia Davis and Junot Diaz to serve as Kapnick Foundation Writers-In-Residence
Creative writing students at UVA this year are getting the “genius” treatment thanks to residencies by a pair of MacArthur Fellowship recipients. Man Booker International Prize winner Lydia Davis and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Diaz will each mentor aspiring writers as this year’s Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writers-in-Residence. Davis is recognized as perhaps the world’s most premier “flash fiction” writer. Her stories, sometimes as brief as one-to-two sentences, have been hailed by Christopher Ricks, chairman of the Booker Prize judges, as having “the brevity and precision of poetry.” Craig Morgan Teicher, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, called her “the master of a literary form largely of her own invention,” In addition to her acclaimed fiction, Ms. Davis is renowned as a translator, and teaches at the State University of New York at Albany. Junot Diaz, captured the 2008 Pulitzer with his book “The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” in addition to authoring critically-acclaimed short story collections “Drown” and “This is How You Lose Her,” a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Finalist. Mr. Diaz, who has received the PEN Malamud Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the PEN O. Henry Award, is the fiction editor at Boston Review. He is the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writer-in-Residence Program was launched in 2014 with the late James Salter and has also featured Caryl Phillips.