Fellow: Awarded 2010
Field of Study: Fiction
Competition: US & Canada
Philipp Meyer’s first novel, American Rust (Spiegel & Grau, 2009), was an Economist Book of the Year, Washington Post Top 10 Book of 2009, New York Times Notable Book, on Newsweek’s List of “Best. Books. Ever,” and made numerous other best-of-2009 lists. It won a Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was shortlisted for the NYPL Young Lions Award and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It is being published in sixteen countries and translated into nine languages.
Numerous reviewers in the United States, England, and Australia have compared Meyer’s work to that of John Steinbeck, J. D. Salinger, Ernest Hemingway, and Cormac McCarthy. His other writing has been published in the Guardian, the Independent, McSweeney’s, The Best of McSweeney’s (Volume 2), The Iowa Review, Esquire UK, Salon, New Stories from the South, and the New York Times Book Review.
Meyer grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Baltimore where he dropped out of high school at age sixteen and got a GED. After five years working as a bike mechanic and volunteering in a trauma center, he decided to go to college, eventually graduating from Cornell University. Since then he’s worked as a derivatives trader, construction worker, and emergency medical technician. In 2008 he received an M.F.A. from the University of Texas Michener Center for Writers. He will be working on his second novel, tentatively titled American Son, during his Guggenheim Fellowship term.