UM professor receives prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship 4-17-07

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A University of Montana creative writing and American Indian studies professor has been awarded a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship, university officials said Tuesday.

Debra Magpie Earling will use the fellowship to write her second novel, based on the life story of a medicine-warrior woman.

Her first novel, ``Perma Red,'' has received several awards and critical acclaim since its release in 2002.

Earling is one of 189 artists, scholars and scientists in the United States and Canada to receive the 2007 fellowships. They are awarded based on past achievements and the promise for future success.

``The Guggenheim Fellowship will change my life,'' Earling said. ``I will be able to pursue my writing without financial worries. I am humbled by the award and grateful for the opportunity.''

Earling is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She came to Montana from Washington state at age 18, serving as the first public defender for the Flathead Indian Reservation's Tribal Justice System.

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