2012: Anne Fadiman
Anne Fadiman is an award-winning author, essayist, editor and teacher. Her first book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, chronicles the trials of an epileptic Hmong child and her family living in Merced, Calif. It won a National Book Critics' Circle Award and was chosen by the Young Adult Library Association as one of its recommended titles for all students. Her best-selling essay collection Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader is a book entirely about books - from purchasing, to reading, to handling. Fadiman's most recent essay collection is At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays, in which she discloses her passions for (among other things) staying up late, reading Coleridge, drinking coffee, and ingesting large quantities of ice cream.
For seven years Fadiman edited the literary quarterly The American Scholar and her essays and articles have appeared in Harper's, The New Yorker, and The New York Times, among many other publications. She has won National Magazine Awards for both reporting and essays. As the inaugural Francis Writer in Residence at Yale University, Fadiman holds the university's first endowed appointment in nonfiction writing. She also serves as both a professor in the English department and a mentor to students considering careers in writing or editing.