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Junot Diaz during a visit to Santo Domingo.

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FROM COLUMBIA NEWS

New York. -- Junot Díaz, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose work explores the Dominican-American immigrant experience, has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, Columbia University announced today.

A creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his best-selling first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

The Pulitzer Board described the work as “a dazzling, richly layered novel about an overweight, nerdy Dominican-American teenager who comes of age in a multi-generational immigrant family, devouring comic books, spinning fantasies and searching for love.”

Widely acclaimed, the book also won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. “Funny, street-smart and keenly observed,” a New York Times review of the novel said. “An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose.”

Díaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and emigrated to New Jersey as a child. Working his way through college, he graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English.

Díaz preceded his Pulitzer-winning work with Drown, a debut collection of 10 short stories narrated by adolescent Dominican males living in hard-pressed communities in the Dominican Republic, New York and New Jersey. “These stories,” said Publisher’s Weekly, “chronicle their outwardly cool but inwardly anguished attempts to recreate themselves in the midst of eroding family structures and their own burgeoning sexuality.”

Díaz’s fiction has also 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 is the fiction editor at the Boston Review.

Much in demand as a speaker, Díaz has been honored frequently for his work. 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.

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COMMENTS
10 comment(s)
Written by: Blutarsky This user is banned, 21 May 2010 9:06 AM
From: Dominican Republic, No Spin Zone
“a dazzling, richly layered novel about an overweight, nerdy Dominican-American teenager who comes of age in a multi-generational immigrant family, devouring comic books, spinning fantasies and searching for love.”.........this sounds like Tupoopy aka. Yomama and his life story
Written by: guillermone, 21 May 2010 11:19 AM
From: United States, Bring Back DT Forum
Junot is a left wing extremist liberal-I would be wary of him-but regardless of that, he is no doubt and does not take away from his superior writing talent and abilities. Nevertheless, the guy has a lot of issues.
Written by: anthonyC, 21 May 2010 12:49 PM
From: United States
The Pulitzer Prize has lost it's luster years ago a-la the Nobel Peace prize.
Written by: snoopyy3k, 21 May 2010 1:51 PM
From: United States
I had the pleasure of meeting Junot Diaz. He is a very humble and extremely pleasant person. His reading are just the best and congrats to him.
Written by: allisonrmt, 22 May 2010 2:43 AM
From: Canada, Alberta
I LOVED "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" :D
Written by: WalterPolo, 22 May 2010 11:37 AM
From: Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata
You mean you can actually make money writing? Does that mean our kids could start taking it seriously and actually learn? Well, first, we'd have to teach the teachers.
Written by: bigblatino, 22 May 2010 6:43 PM
From: Dominican Republic
This is a great and prestigious honor for ANY writer. And it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Congratulations, Junot!
Written by: guillermone, 22 May 2010 11:26 PM
From: United States, Bring Back DT Forum
Don't let yourself be blinded by the light and glitter of his prestigious award, neither by his charm nor his talents to allow you to see the facts. He has stated to be in favor of the unification of the Island of hispañiola, does not believe in a Judeo-Christian God and at times has found the need to suppress his Dominicanness. So folks don't condemn me for saying the truth. The fact that he is a great writer is irrelevant and besides the point. I am just wary about how and what people with that kind of prestige can do to influence policy.
Written by: Blutarsky This user is banned, 23 May 2010 7:46 AM
From: Dominican Republic, No Spin Zone
Junot Diaz will continue to be a high visibility spokesman of the the Dominican people .He will ,learn to be less controversial with his opinions in the future . He will be more influential in the books he has yet to write. he is carrying a heavy weight and a great responsibility.
Written by: guillermone, 23 May 2010 10:34 PM
From: United States, Bring Back DT Forum
I sure damn hope so, so help me god!!!!!!
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