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Junot Diaz
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    (December 31, 1968- )
    Born in Santo Domingo , Dominican Republic
    Author of ‘Drown,’ ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ and ‘This is How You Lose Her’
    Creative Writing Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    He is frequently confused with the Costa Rican footballer, Junior Diaz.
    The motif in his writing is the absent father, reflecting the strained relationship with his own father.
    His relationship with his father is so dysfunctional that when he wrote an article in a Dominican newspaper condemning the country’s treatment of Haitians, his father sent a letter to the editor telling the writer to ‘go back to Haiti,’ without even knowing his own son had written it.
    A group of Dominican writers co-wrote an op-ed criticizing him for condemning the Republic’s immigration policy, questioning if his interest in the Dominican Republic wasn’t ‘feigned.’
    He took over ten years to publish his next novel after being given unprecedented funds to publish following the success of ‘Drown,’ making him a running joke in the publishing community.
    He is a comic book junkie.
    He bitched in a Q&A session about comic book novelists not being taken seriously, likening them to minority writers being ‘ghettoized’ as an entirely separate genre.
    He attempts to be witty about race relations (one of his short stories is called ‘How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie’).
    His literary style contains excessive profanity.
    He has described himself as ‘a disobedient child of New Jersey and the Dominican Republic if that can be possibly imagined with way too much education.’
    He has referred to Orson Scott Card as ‘a cretinous fool’ ‘clearly addicted to negative attention…like the opposite of a monster who always needs to be fed.’
    He stirred controversy when he wrote a piece for The New Yorker criticizing MFA programs for being ‘too white’ (Apr. 2014).
    He has been known to give highly entertaining interviews.
    He is a colleague of Toni Morrison.
    He has been compared to Phillip Roth and Jonathan Franzen.
    He is an active proponent of immigration reform.
    He immigrated to New Jersey from the Dominican Republic at the age of six.
    He had been raised mostly by his grandparents until moving to the US to be with his father.
    He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ in 2008.
    ‘Oscar Wao’ was groundbreaking in that it challenged the stereotype of the young Latino male as hyper-masculine and dangerous.
    He is the first Latin-American to be appointed to sit on the 20-member Pulitzer-Prize jury (2010).
    He brought the awesome Cobra-killing carnivore, the Mongoose, to public attention as a symbol in 'Oscar Wao'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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