The medal was presented to Jhumpa Lahiri for enlarging the human story. In her works of fiction, Dr Lahiri has illuminated the Indian American experience in beautifully wrought narratives of estrangement and belonging.
The medal honours an individual or organisation whose work deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience. Lahiri’s novel “The Lowlands” was among the books Obama took while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard last month.
Other awardees included artists, historians, writers, a philosopher, scholar, preservationist, food activist and an education course.