Deborah Eisenberg, whose last book of short stories "Twilight of the Superheroes" was published in 2006, has been teaching courses at the University of Virginia for the last 15 years.
She is the partner of Wallace Shawn, the avant garde playwright.
Eisenberg was quoted as saying the award "means time" -- she writes very slowly-- someone estimated about a story per year for many years....
For personal information about her, I refer you to the latest Wikipedia article on her.
People find it difficult to say exactly what it is about her work that is so unusual, but most often refer to its way of articulating subtle psychological moments.
As I have written before, she is not an "easy read" and most people will find her challenging ...
no one else is writing quite like her I think-- and she thoroughly deserves the award for originality in short story writing ( she has also won the Rea Award, a Guggenheim grant, and several O. Henry prizes).