Pulitzer Prize Winner To Deliver Chet Raymo Lecture
October 17, 2011
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will give the 11th annual Chet Raymo Lecture at Stonehill on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Martin Institute. The event is free and open to the public.
Hailed as one of the top 20 writers of the 21st century by The New Yorker Magazine, Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
The book chronicles the life of Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey who loves science fiction and fantasy novels and dreams of falling in love. It also talks about the curse that has plagued Oscar's family for generations.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, won the Mercantile Library Center's John Sargent Prize for First Novel, and was a 2007 New York Public Library "Book to Remember."
In her review of the book, New York Times writer Michiko Kakutani said it is "a wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets Star Trek meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West."
Díaz is also the author of Drown, a collection of short stories which focus on the teenage narrator's impoverished, fatherless youth in the Dominican Republic and his struggle adapting to a new life in New Jersey.
His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker Magazine, African Voices, and Best American Short Stories.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Díaz graduated from Rutgers University and earned his MFA from Cornell University, where he wrote most of his first collection of short stories.
Currently, Díaz teaches creative writing at MIT and is also the fiction editor for the Boston Review. In 2010, he became the first Latino to be appointed to the 20-member Pulitzer Prize board of jurors. He splits his time living in New York City and Boston.
Established in honor of Chet Raymo, the lecture series brings significant writers of poetry, fiction or non-fiction to campus to share their work and to speak about the art of writing.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.