Booker shortlisted author Maaza Mengiste is one of fifteen fellows -ranging from academics, literary artists and independent scholars- selected for the 23rd class of the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. For fiction, Mengiste is joined by the writers David Wright Faladé, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Josephine Rowe, and Madeleine Thien.

The Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers annually awards fellowships to fifteen academics, independent scholars, and creative writers (novelists, playwrights, poets), including visual artists at work on a book project. The selected fellows are appointed for a nine-month term at the Library, from September through May. In addition to access to the renowned research collections and resources of The New York Public Library, the Fellows will also receive a stipend and the use of a private office in the Cullman Center ‘s quarters at The New York Public Library ‘s landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

Maaza Mengiste, who was named a Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow, is expected to work on her third full-length novel. Currently titled A Brief Portrait of Small Deaths, the novel is “set during the interwar years in Berlin” and “focuses on the lives of Afro-German models who sat for some of Germany ‘s greatest painters and follows their lives as Nazism takes hold of Germany.”

She shared the news on Twitter.

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Maaza Mengiste is the author of two novels. Her latest, The Shadow King, was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize.

Go here for more information on the 2021 fellows.