RPCV Michael Meyer (China 1995-97) and author of The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the meyer-m1Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed, published by Walker & Company in 2008 has last-days-beijingbeen named a recipient of a 2009 Whiting Writers’  Award, one of ten given this year. The award, worth $50,000, is given annually to ” writers of exceptional talent and promise.”  Mike, who will receive the award this evening, is leaving shortly for China to work on his next book.

Whiting Writers’ Awards candidates are proposed by anonymous nominators from across the country. And the winners are chosen by a small anonymous selection committee of recognized writers, literary scholars, and editors, appointed annually by the Foundation.  The Foundation accepts nominations only from the designated nominators.

This year’s winners include several who have just published or will soon publish a first book. Although some were born in such far-flung places as Vietnam, South Korea, Puerto Rico, and The United Kingdom, they are now all living and working in this country, from California to Florida, to Nevada, to Alaska, and New York.

The 2009 recipients will be announced at a ceremony at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York this evening, Wednesday, October 28. The keynote speaker tonight is Margaret Atwood, whose new novel, The Year of the Flood, was just published to wide critical acclaim.

Congratulation, Michael. Once again the “China Gang” of RPCV writers have scored a major award.