Two Columbia University School of the Arts faculty members have been awarded 2009 Guggenheim Fellowships: Stacey D'Erasmo, assistant professor, Writing Program; and Ramin Bahrani, adjunct professor, Film Program.
Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of "stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment." This year's winners were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.
D'Erasmo received a B.A. from Barnard College and an M.A. from New York University in English and American Literature. From 1988 to 1995, she was a senior editor at the Voice Literary Supplement. She was a Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University from 1995-97, and she created and developed the fiction section of Bookforum from 1997 to 1998. Her first novel, Tea (Algonquin, 2000), was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Her second novel, A Seahorse Year (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday and won both a Lambda Literary Award and a Ferro-Grumley Award. Her third novel, The Sky Below (Houghton Mifflin, 2009), was reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review. D'Erasmo's articles and podcasts have been published in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, and the Los Angeles Times.
Born and raised in the U.S., Bahrani studied film at Columbia University (Film Studies, CC '96) before moving to his parents' homeland of Iran, where he lived for three years. He returned to the United States to make Man Push Cart (2005), about a Pakistani immigrant who runs a coffee cart in New York City; and Chop Shop (2007), which follows a brother and sister in Willets Point, Queens, an area of auto-body and tire repair shops known as the Iron Triangle. His third film, Goodbye Solo (2008), premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival and was released in New York in late March of this year. Bahrani was recently featured in an article by critic A.O. Scott in The New York Times Magazine, and was also the subject of a Filmmaker in Focus exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.