Brooklyn Heights

Acclaimed novelist Junot Díaz to speak at St. Francis College

April 10, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Renowned writer Junot Díaz will speak at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights on April 16. Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Author Junot Díaz’s book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” was recently named the best novel of the 21st century so far by BBC Culture.

Díaz will visit St. Francis College on April 16 as the latest speaker in the Walt Whitman Writers Series. He will read from his work answer questions from Isaac Fitzgerald (editor, Buzzfeed Books). He will also take questions from the audience.

“Junot Díaz is among the most influential novelists alive,” said St. Francis College English Professor Theo Gangi, who is also the director of the College Writing Program. “We are honored and excited to host him at St. Francis College.” 

Díaz is the twelfth writer to visit St. Francis for the Walt Whitman Series, which continues to bring top contemporary authors to Brooklyn Heights to share their work and writing experiences with students, faculty and the entire Brooklyn community. Previous authors include Charles Baxter, George Saunders, James Salter, Colum McCann, Ben Marcus, Dinaw Mengestu, Kate Christensen, Julie Orringer, Jonathan Lethem, Darcey Steinke and Rick Moody.

Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed “Drown”; “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and “This Is How You Lose Her,” a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award.  A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

The Walt Whitman Series is a continuation of St. Francis College’s commitment to supporting Brooklyn’s literary community. In addition to visits by these authors, the College also offers the biennial $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize and helps sponsor and host events for the Brooklyn Book Festival; giving students, faculty and the entire Brooklyn community a front row seat to some of the best and most diverse professional writers at work today.

The April 16 event will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in St. Francis College’s Founders Hall (180 Remsen St. in Brooklyn Heights).

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