Grafton, Burke named MWA Grand Masters

For the first time since 1978, Mystery Writers of America will have two Grand Masters for 2009: James Lee Burke and Sue Grafton. From the release that went out today:

According to MWA executive vice president Harry
Hunsicker, the Edgar Awards — or "Edgars," as they are commonly known
— are named after Edgar Allan Poe, whose 200th birthday will be marked
next year. "One of the great pleasures of my tenure at the helm of MWA
has been informing two of the most talented writers on the planet that
they have been selected as Grand Master. As a long-time fan of both, I
cannot think of two more deserving individuals."

"News of my
being named MWA Grand Master, along with James Lee Burke, caught me
totally off-guard," said Sue Grafton, "but I'm delighted to be tapped
and pleased to share the honor with a writer I so admire. I look
forward to the ceremony which will surely be a blow-out affair in that
it celebrates Edgar Allan Poe as well as the mystery genre."

Says James Lee Burke:
"It is a great honor to receive the Grand Master award from the Mystery
Writers of America. It's an enormous compliment to my work and to me,
and I feel extremely grateful and humbled by the MWA's generosity of
spirit. The award will always remain as one of the greatest tributes my
work could receive. Thank you for all the support the MWA has given my
work over the many years.

Both Grafton and Burke will get the official honor on April 30 at the Edgar Awards Banquet. Very cool news indeed!