Ridgway Writer Wins ‘Genius’ Grant

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What if somebody gave you half a million dollars -- and told you to spend it any way you wanted? Well, that just happened to writer Peter Hessler. He lives in Ridgway, in southwestern Colorado and he recently got a so-called “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation. They go to people who’ve displayed exceptional creativity. Hessler lived abroad for many years, most recently in China, and settled on Colorado when he decided to come back stateside. In the last few years, he’s filed stories from southwestern Colorado for the New Yorker. His latest is about a extraordinary pharmacist in the small town of Nucla. Hessler and his family are headed soon to Cairo, where he'll report and write on what's going on in that country.