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Vietnamese-American author becomes genius grant recipient

Vietnamese-American author Ocean Vuong has been awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, also known as a “genius grant”, by the MacArthur Foundation.




Vietnamese-American author Ocean Vuong (Photo: The Observer)



The foundation honours extraordinarily talented and creative individuals by investing in their potential. The grant comes with a no-strings-attached fee of US$625,000 (over VND14 billion), which is distributed over a five-year period.

Originally born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vuong and his mother moved to the United States when he was two years old before settling in Hartford, Connecticut.

The author received the T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2018 for his debut poetry collection known as the “Night Sky with Exit Wounds.” The work was also published locally under the Vietnamese name “Troi dem nhung viet thuong xuyen thau”.

In addition to this, the book also won the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

Vuong is currently an artist-in-residence at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute of New York University, working at the Center for Refugee Poetics.

One notable achievement for Ocean Vuong came in June this year when he introduced his first novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” to the public. The book was written as a letter from a Vietnamese immigrant’s son to his illiterate mother. VOV

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