The Pulitzer Prize For Fiction

2008 - Junot Díaz

Born: 31 December 1968, Dominicon Republic

Awarded for: "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"

Prize motivation: "The book won the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize, the Dayton Peace Prize in Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008. In 2009, website The Millions polled 48 writers, critics, and editors, including Joshua Ferris, Sam Anderson, and Lorin Stein; the panel voted The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the eighth-best novel since 2000, and readers ranked it first place."

Field: Fiction


Books Written By Junot Díaz

About Junot Díaz

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.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz

By Oscar O'Cinneide

One of the most stunning books written in years.The quality of the writing is quite exceptional and fresh.No wonder it won the Pulitzer.Suffice to say that I have given copies to a load of friends who have reacted similarly.Wonderful.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Díaz

By Savanna Puckett

This is one of the most entertaining books i have ever read. It was beautifully written in modern English, with spanish mixed in. Not the type of grammar, or language, you normally see written. All in all it was a great story told from varying perspectives, which kept it fresh the whole way throgh.