Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Junot Diaz knows all boundaries

Pulitzer Prize-winning author to speak in Ketchum

Junot Diaz will be the second speaker in the Sun Valley Center for the Arts lecture series.

Bringing a fresh and cutting-edge perspective to literature, Junot Diaz is a rising star in contemporary fiction. He is an author with an odd, street-smart sense of humor. He has caught the attention of readers and critics with his witty observations and insight into being an immigrant from the Dominican Republic living in New Jersey.

Publisher's Weekly said, "You could call 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' the saga of an immigrant family, but that wouldn't really be fair. It's an immigrant-family saga for people who don't read immigrant-family sagas."

Diaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," which he will read on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. as part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts' 2009--10 lecture series. He will speak at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum and books from Iconoclast Books will be available for sale at the reading.

Diaz is fiction editor at the "Boston Review" and professor of creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Reader's Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 U.S.-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.

Born in 1968 in Santo Domingo, Diaz is also the author of a collection of short stories titled "Drown," published in 1996. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXII and The O'Henry Prize Stories 2009.

Tickets are $20 for Sun Valley Center for the Arts members and $30 for nonmembers. To buy tickets, visit, call 726-9491, ext. 10 or stop by The Center in Ketchum.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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