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Junot Diaz: Introduction

A guide to the life and works of Junot Diaz, author of the 2012 Summer Common Reading Program.



"Junot Díaz, who was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, immigrated to the United States with his family when he was seven. He eventually became a naturalized citizen. He attended Rutgers University, where he received a B.A. in literature and history in 1990. He then went to Cornell University to study creative writing. His first collection of stories, Drown, grew out of his work at Cornell."

--Shuman, R. (2007). Junot Díaz. Guide To Literary Masters & Their Works, 1

"Junot Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was raised in New Jersey. A graduate of Rutgers College, he is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2009.

He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948) and Nancy Allen professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

--Diaz, J. (2012) About Junot Diaz

Reading and Discussion

We are pleased to announce that we are hosting a reading, discussion and book signing with Dominican American author and 2012 MacArthur Fellow, Junot Díaz, on Monday, November 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the RISD Auditorium.  Díaz will be reading from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007).  This event is sponsored by the Division of Liberal Arts and is in support of our Summer Common Reading Program and our fall semester literature and writing seminars. 

Tickets are required for entry into the RISD Auditorium.  Ticket inquiries can be directed to Gail Hughes ( or Patricia Barbeito ( from Tuesday, October 30 - Friday, November 2.  For those without tickets, there will be a stand-by area at the auditorium on the day of the event and a live broadcast of the event will be displayed in College Building, room 412. You may also watch a live webcast of the event on

Copies of the novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and Díaz's most recent collection of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her, are available for sale in the RISD Bookstore.

Junot Diaz

Photo Credit: Nina Subin, Junot Diaz.