Thursday, Sept. 23. Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the 2008
novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, will speak and read from
his narratives as the college's annual Reynolds Lecturer.
The presentation will begin in Duke Family Performance Hall at 7:30
p.m., and will be followed by a book signing. There is no charge to
attend, but tickets are required and available at www.davidson.edu/tickets
. For information, call 704-894-2135 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
Some material in the lecture may be objectionable to some audiences.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction
for its portrayal of contemporary Latin American immigrant society.
The New York Times review of the book called it "funny, street-smart
and keenly observed." The review continued, "It unfolds from a comic
portrait of a second-generation Dominican geek into a harrowing
meditation on public and private history and the burdens of familial
The book explores the protagonist's family's history, including his
mother's life in Santo Domingo and her immigration to New York.
Through these accounts, Díaz chronicles the tyranny of Rafael Trujillo
over the Dominican Republic, which lasted until his assassination in
1961. The family's experiences show the nature of Trujillo's reign and
its lasting effect on Dominican society.
Junot Díaz, who was born in Santo Domingo, graduated from Rutgers
University and received his MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell
University. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, and has
also published in The Paris Review, and The Best American Short Stories.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, his work has garnered the Eugene
McDermott Award, the PEN/ Malamud Award, the Lila Wallace- Reader's
Digest Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a U.S.-Japan Creative
Artists Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, and the Rome
Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Another of his books, Drown, resulted in Newsweek naming Díaz as one
of its "New Faces of 1996." Additionally, he is currently on The New
Yorker's list of 20 top writers of the 21st century. Díaz lives in New
York City and Boston, and is a professor of creative writing at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson
Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the
nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages,
giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson
competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding
Honor Code is central to student life at the college.