This award was generously supported by the James Baldwin Estate. _
Mat Johnson was born to an Irish American father and an African American mother, who was a social worker and raised him after his parents divorced. He attended graduate school at Columbia University. Johnson has written two novels, includingHunting in Harlem(2004, winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in fiction), about the area’s gentrification, and a nonfiction book,The Great Negro Plot. His work addresses contemporary race and social issues with wicked humor.
Portrait photo courtesy Emily Shur.
Hunting in Harlem, 2003; photo courtesy Bloomsbury USA