Playwright Mona Mansour Wins 2012 Whiting Award

On Tuesday, The Whiting Foundation announced its 2012 literary award recipients. The 10 authors each receive a $50,000 grant, (ostensibly) no strings attached. 

One of the ten was the Brooklyn-based playwright Mona Mansour, many of whose works — “Urge for Going,” “The Hour of Feeling,” and “The Letter” — explore relations between Palestinians and Americans.

A recent profile of Mansour in The Arab Review says that her new play “The Letter,” co-written with Tala Manassah, is “based on a derogatory comment about Palestinians by a trustee of City University of New York…in the wake of playwright Tony Kushner’s criticism of Israel. (Kushner’s remarks resulted in CUNY denying him an honorary degree). In Mansour and Manassah’s piece, Palestinian-American physicist Kamal and his philosopher daughter Alia make the debate personal.”

Whiting Awards are “geared to help extraordinary new writers find the footing to achieve success.” Awards can be made to poets, novelists, short-story writers, playwrights, and writers of “nonfiction.”

Watch an interview with Mansour about “the Hour of Feeling”: