Idaho's writer-in-residence, Anthony Doerr—the highly acclaimed author of The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, and the forthcoming short story collection, Memory Wall—has added a Guggenheim Fellowship to his impressive list of accomplishments. According to the Guggenheim Foundation's website, the prestigious honor is given to those "demonstrating exceptional creative ability in scholarship and the arts" and Doerr joins an illustrious list that includes the likes of John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut and Saul Bellow.
"To share an honor with writers who are sitting on my bookshelves is amazing," Doerr said recently.
The Fellowship comes with an average cash prize of around $40,000 and will allow Doerr a little breathing room.
"The money will mean I can take some time off from teaching and spend more time writing," Doerr added.
The Guggenheim Fellowship is generally considered a "mid-career acknowledgment." When Doerr, who won the 2003 New York Public Library's Young Lions Award was asked if this meant he was turning a corner in his career, he said, "When you first start writing, you don't think of your future as a 'career.' You just want to keep writing and playing around with language. I just hope I can keep making up stories until I go senile."
Doerr's newest book, Memory Wall (Scribner) is due out in July, and features two dazzling novellas and four short stories.
Look here for more on Doerr's Memory Wall in the near future.