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Packer Gourevitch receiving $40 000 writing grants

NEW YORK (AP) -- New Yorker staff writers Philip Gourevitch and George Packer are among eight recipients of $40,000 grants to help with the completion of nonfiction books.

Others being given Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants include poet-critic Meghan O'Rourke, art critic and curator Michael Brenson and author and journalist Jay Kirk. The awards were announced Thursday by the Whiting Foundation. Projects range from O'Rourke's book on chronic illness to Packer's biography of the late diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke to Pacifique Irankunda's account of civil war in his native Burundi.

Alaskan author Seth Kantner and the critic and prize-winning biographer Julie Phillips were the other recipients of Whiting grants.