Junot Diaz is a ‘F$%#ing’ Genius

 Junot Diaz is a F$%#ing GeniusRecipients of  The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship — known as the “genius grants”–were announced today.  The award cannot be applied for and recipients don’t know they being considered for it until they win. Novelist Junot Diaz was one of this year’s winners. He described the experience in an expletive-filled interview with The Observer this evening.

“It’s like finding the fucking golden ticket,” Mr. Diaz said. “It’s like finding an extra bedroom in your New York studio apartment.”

The award gives recipients $100,000 a year for five years, with no preconditions.

“The MacArthur Fellowship is designed to provide seed money for intellectual, social, and artistic endeavors. We believe that highly motivated, self-directed, and talented people are in the best position to decide how to allocate their time and resources,” the MacArthur Foundation explains on its site.

Mr. Diaz will use the money to finish his “crazy monster book,” he said.

The novelist was notified that he won the award on September 12–one day after he began his book tour for This is How You Lose Her. Was it hard keeping it a secret?

“I was so fucking stunned,” said Mr. Diaz. “I am a chatty person, but colossally discreet.”

There are twenty-three winners who “show exceptional creativity in their work and the prospect for still more in the future.” In addition to Mr. Diaz, this year’s winners include Washington Post journalist David Finkel and writer Dinaw Mengestu.

The news was supposed to be released at 12:01 am on Tuesday morning, but broke late this afternoon.

“Some motherfucker leaked it,” said Mr. Diaz. “Not me. I’m still convinced they’ll take it away from me.”