These 9 Books Were Written By "Geniuses" — Seriously

Penguin Random House (2), W. W. Norton & Company/Bustle

Each year, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation offers fellowships to artists, writers, musicians, and scholars to help fund their work. This year's group of 26 fellows a literary bunch, and I've picked out nine books by the 2019 MacArthur "genius" grant recipients that you can read right now.

The MacArthur Fellowships recognize "exceptional creativity, as demonstrated through a track record of significant achievement, and manifest promise for important future advances." The recipients do not need to use the grant on their creative projects however. In 2019, each MacArthur Fellowship comes with a five-year stipend totaling $625,000, which fellows are free to spend as they see fit. To date, the MacArthur Foundation has recognized more than 1,000 creative thinkers for their work in various fields.

More than one-third of this year's batch of MacArthur "genius" grant recipients are published authors, and I've picked out nine of their books to share with you below. You'll find novels and works of nonfiction below, as well as a play and a — forthcoming — book on how to make your own comics. Check out these great books by MacArthur Fellows below:

'Private Government: How Employers Rule Our Lives (And Why We Don't Talk About It)' by Elizabeth Anderson

In this eye-opening read, Elizabeth Anderson argues that most workplaces operate as small, private governments, dictating how employees may act and dress, rather than as businesses.

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'Hate Crimes in Cyberspace' by Danielle Keats Citron

An investigation of digital harassment, Danielle Keats Citron's Hate Crimes in Cyberspace is a must-read for anyone with an Internet presence.

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'A Piece of Work' by Annie Dorsen

A unique take on William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Annie Dorsen's A Piece of Work presents the beloved play as a deconstructed set of data.

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'Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval' by Saidiya Hartman

Saidiya Hartman's Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments exposes how black women who longed for more than they were given challenged dominant, white social mores in early-20th-century New York and Philadelphia.

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'Lost Children Archive' by Valeria Luiselli

In this Booker Prize-longlisted novel from Tell Me How It Ends author Valeria Luiselli, a family of four travel from New York to ancestral Apache homelands in Arizona.

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'MIGRA! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol' by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Stretching back to the mid-1920s, Kelly Lytle Hernández's MIGRA! shows how we got to now with regard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

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'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' by Ocean Vuong

The first novel from celebrated poet Ocean Vuong, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous takes the form of a confessional letter written from a queer, Vietnamese-American man to his illiterate mother.

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'The Odyssey' by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Rediscover the classic work of literature you read in high school with Emily Wilson's new translation of Homer's Odyssey.

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'Making Comics' by Lynda Barry (Nov. 5)

In this graphic collection, University of Madison-Wisconsin associate professor Lynda Barry offers up her best how-tos for anyone who wants to create their own comics.

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