The MacArthur Foundation recently announced that novelist Jonathan Lethem is among the 25 recipients of this year's "Genius" fellowships. Each award is worth $500,000.
Lethem, whose most recent book is The Disappointment Artist (Doubleday 2005), was given the fellowship for “weaving the conventions of noir mysteries, westerns, science fiction, and comic books into narratives that explore the relationship between high art and popular culture.” The award is given without restriction; the recipients can use the money for any purpose.
The MacArthur Foundation is named after John D. MacArthur (1897-1978), the founder of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, and his wife Catherine (1909-1981). Over 700 individuals in different professional fields have recieved the fellowships since 1981.