Photo courtesy of Michael Meyer
By Laurie Hertzel
Michael Meyer, who grew up in the western suburb of Plymouth, moved to China some years ago, and, more recently, to New York City. Tonight, he is one of ten writers to win the prestigious Whiting Award. The award, which carries a $50,000 honorarium, has been giving annually to young and emerging writers since 1985.
Meyer wins for his 2008 book, "The Last Days of Old Beijing," (Walker, $26) his chronicle of the disappearing old neighborhoods and architecture of Beijing, where he worked as an English teacher.
"You have that immediate reaction of, ‘Did I earn this? Do I deserve this?' " he told Strib reporter Kim Ode. “I’m humbled by it. It’s rarely given to nonfiction writers like me, who are not quite journalists, not quite academics and not memoirists.” His next book, “In Manchuria,” is due to be published in 2012.
Read Ode's full report in the Thursday Star Tribune. And here's a link to her Oct. 2008 interview with Meyer: