April 2, 2023

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship Awarded to Hamline Faculty Member

Gene Luen Yang (Hamline University photo)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (Sept. 21, 2016) – Hamline University is thrilled to announce that Gene Luen Yang, named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature last year, now has won a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship for his work as a graphic novelist and cartoonist.

Yang is a favorite faculty member in Hamline’s MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults (MFAC) program where he teaches the next generation of writers who are dedicated to creating engaging, thought-provoking, and diverse literature for young people.

“Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist and cartoonist whose work for young adults demonstrates the potential of comics to broaden our understanding of diverse cultures and people,” was the statement from the MacArthur Foundation about the award. “Yang has produced full-length graphic novels, short stories, and serial comics, many of which explore present-day and historical events through a contemporary Chinese American lens.”

Yang’s book, American Born Chinese, became the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album—New. His graphic novel, Boxers & Saints, was a 2013 National Book Award finalist, the 2013 winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in YA literature, and was named to the School Library Journal’s “Best Book of the Year 2013.” The Eternal Smile, a collection of short stories illustrated by Derek Kirk Kim, also won an Eisner Award and was selected as a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. Yang recently joined the group of writers working on Superman for DC Comics. In January 2016, the Library of Congress named Gene Luen Yang the Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

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