Junot Díaz, dubbed “one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible voices” by the New York Times, will be at Mount Holyoke on Monday, September 30.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author will read from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and answer questions, starting at 7 pm in Mary Woolley Hall’s Chapin Auditorium.
His visit follows selection of Wao, Díaz’s acclaimed first novel, as the College’s Common Reading selection sent to all first-year students. Dean of Students Rene Davis called the best seller “a dynamic character study that explores self-awareness, difference, and transition.”
Said Davis, “Oscar Wao’s journey allows readers to contemplate the ways in which we each create our own path as we balance our values within the tradition-steeped communities in which we all live.”
Díaz first came to wide public attention with the 1996 publication of Drown, a short-story collection narrated by teenagers with backgrounds similar to Díaz’s own—he was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in New Jersey, and lives in New York City.
Oscar Wao cemented his reputation as a major new writer, drawing critical acclaim—including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction—and spending more than 100 weeks on the New York Times best seller list.
His most recent work, This Is How You Lose Her, is also a best seller. Library Journal called it “as stunning as its predecessors. These stories are hard and sad, but in Díaz’s hands they also crackle.”
Díaz is a writing professor at MIT and received a 2012 MacArthur Fellowship, better known as a “genius grant.”