Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Delivers Talk
Posted on October 7, 2008
Faculty and Staff
A few months after earning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
, Junot Diaz
visited the Moakley Center auditorium Oct. 1 to discuss the importance of art in society.
Mr. Diaz moved to New Jersey from the Dominican Republic at age 6, and is an associate professor of writing and humanistic studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His works, which primarily center on the duality of the immigration experience, have met wide critical acclaim; The New Yorker
recently named him as one of the 20 top writers of the 21st century.
The author's visit coincided with Banned Books Week at BSC, which celebrates the freedom to read whatever one chooses by promoting books that have been challenged by or banned over the years. He defended those books and all art, saying these works may reveal hidden truths about personal and world issues and should be available to all.
"Art tends to say things that, as a society, we will never say," Mr. Diaz told the crowd of students, faculty members and administrators.
Much to the delight of those attendees, the author read his short story, "Alma," which was published in The New Yorker
in December 2007. The story deals with the relationship between two Dominican-American college students.
This reading was well received and set the stage for the author to field some questions about his writing, his influences, and about his childhood in the Dominican and his life in the U.S.
After the talk, the author signed copies of his award-winning novel and his previous book, Drown
, which is a collection of short stories published in 1996. The event was sponsored by Office of College and Community Partnerships as part of the One Book One Community program. (Story and photo by Rob Matheson, Office of Institutional Communications)