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2024 Literary Honors Awarded to RJFWA Women Writers

(l-r): Elif Batuman, Lan Samantha Chang, Ama Codjoe

Several other Rona Jaffe Foundation women writers were also honored this year for their writing: Elif Batuman (’07) received the 2024 John Guare Writers Fund Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome and Lan Samantha Chang (’98) and Ama Codjoe (’17) received 2024 Arts and Letters Awards in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.


Elif Batuman’s (’07) first novel, The Idiot, was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize and the Women’s Prize. The sequel, Either/Or, was published in 2022. She is a 2024 fellow at the American Academy in Rome where she is working on a new novel called Camino Real, the third in a projected four-book series. She has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. (photo credit: Valentyn Kuzan)


Lan Samantha Chang (’98) is the author of The Family Chao, winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction. A twenty-fifth anniversary edition of her first collection, Hunger, was recently reissued by W.W. Norton & Company. She is also the author of the novels All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost and Inheritance, which won the PEN Open Book Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The Best American Short Stories. She's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she teaches at and directs the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. (photo credit: IfeOluwa Nihinlola)


Ama Codjoe (’17) is the author of Bluest Nude (Milkweed Editions, 2022), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and finalist for the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Poetry, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Her first collection, Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press, 2020), received the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. She has been awarded support from Bogliasco, Cave Canem, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saltonstall foundations as well as from Callaloo, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, Hawthornden Literary Retreat, Willipa Bay AiR, MacDowell, and the Amy Clampitt Residency. In 2023, Ama was appointed as the second Poet-in-Residence at the Guggenheim Museum. She is the winner of a 2023 Whiting Award and a recipient of a 2024 Arts and Letters Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. (photo credit: David Heald © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)



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