GENE LUEN YANG, a cartoonist and teacher whose “American Born Chinese” (2006) was a initial striking novel to be a finalist for a National Book Award, has usually perceived an respect that puts an exclamation indicate on all he’s already achieved in his still-rising career.
Yang, 43, has usually been named a MacArthur Fellow — one of 23 recipients of a supposed “genius” extend this year, a MacArthur Foundation is announcing Thursday. The category of 2016 also includes New York striking storyteller Lauren Redniss.
“It’s usually crazy,” a Bay Area-based Yang tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “I feel impossibly blessed.”
Each associate receives a “no-strings-attached” $625,000 extend that honors “exceptional creativity and intensity for destiny contributions to their fields.”
Five years ago, Redniss (“Thunder and Lightning”) was named a National Book Award finalist for “Radioactive: Marie Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout” — a initial nonfiction striking account to be so honored. Redniss, 42, an partner highbrow during Parsons, a New School for Design, told Comic Riffs during a time that she was “particularly gratified” to be famous for a visible nonfiction book.
In January, Yang was inaugurated as a Library of Congress’s new inhabitant envoy of Young People’s Literature — a fifth chairman to reason that post, and a initial striking writer to do so.
Prior to that, he had spent scarcely dual decades as an educator, training mechanism scholarship during an Oakland-area high propagandize — knowledge that informs his stream YA comic array “Secret Decoders.”
Yang has also created Superman stories for DC Comics and a striking novel “The Shadow Hero,” that is formed on a World War II-era impression that competence good be a initial Asian American superhero in comics history.
Yang is also a two-time National Book Award finalist for cross-cultural masterworks — not usually for “American Born Chinese” (a classroom tack that has sole some-more than a half-million copies), though also some-more recently for a unconditional Boxer Rebellion epic “Boxers Saints.”
Yang began sketch comics in fifth grade, and his arise as a cartoonist began dual decades ago when he perceived a Xeric extend for his self-published “Gordon Yamamoto and a King of a Geeks.”
The Post’s Comic Riffs will be in review with Yang on Saturday night during a Washington Convention Center; he is a superstar of a Graphic Novel Night eventuality as partial of a Library of Congress’s National Book Festival.
Yang says a MacArthur respect still doesn’t feel utterly genuine — “I half-thought it was my friends pulling a prank” — so he’s focusing on a immediate. “I’m perplexing to keep my mind on a festival,” Yang tells Comic Riffs, “and [on] finishing a book for DC Comics.”
This post has been updated.