Barack Obama to Give National Medal of Arts to Stephen King and Tobias Wolff

This year, President Barack Obama will give the National Medal of Arts to two writers: genre-master Stephen King and literary fiction author and creative writing teacher Tobias Wolff.

The National Medal of Arts is the highest artistic prize that the US government gives out. The two writers will join such acclaimed past winners as Maya Angelou, Saul Bellow, John Updike, Ray Bradbury, and Philip Roth.

The official citations for the two writers are:

Stephen King for his contributions as an author. One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Mr. King combines his remarkable storytelling with his sharp analysis of human nature. For decades, his works of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy have terrified and delighted audiences around the world. (Bangor, ME)

Tobias Wolff for his contributions as an author and educator. His raw works of fiction examine themes of American identity and individual morality. With wit and compassion, Mr. Wolff’s work reflects the truths of our human experience. (Stanford, CA)

King responded publicly to the news on Twitter:

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