Maaza Mengiste Wins 2020 Literature Prize from American Academy of Arts & Letters:
Maaza Mengiste has won the 2020 Literature prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy announced that Mengiste is among 19 writers who will receive this year’s awards in literature, which will be presented in New York at the organization’s annual Ceremonial in May. “The literature prizes, totaling $350,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry,” the press release said. “The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners.” Maaza Mengiste — who is the author of the critically acclaimed novels ‘The Shadow King’ and ‘Beneath the Lion’s Gaze’ — was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. Maaza is also the writer for the Ethiopia segment of ‘Girl Rising’ a feature film that tells the stories of 10 extraordinary girls from 10 developing countries around the world. Maaza’s work has likewise appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, BBC Radio, The Granta Anthology of the African Short Story, and Lettre International.