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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Junot Diaz to visit campus next Monday

Photo contributed
Photo contributed

By Louise Carhart

This coming Monday, Feb. 13, Pulitzer Prize- winning author and professor of creative writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Junot Diaz, will visit Grinnell for a series of discussions and readings. The Dominican Republic born, New Jersey bred writer focuses on the immigrant and Latinx experience in the United States, providing searing criticisms and poignant depictions of the treatment and condition of American-immigrant relations. Especially pertinent in light of recent governmental actions, Diaz’s time on campus will bring a leading voice in the Latinx movement to Iowa.

Diaz will lead two public events, a roundtable discussion on the craft of fiction at 4 p.m. in JRC 209 and a reading at 7 p.m. in JRC 101. This programming will allow students the opportunity for insight into two sides of Diaz’s creative process: the formative writing stages and the interpretation and public reception of his work. Organized and sponsored by the Rosenfield Program, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Intercultural Student Affairs, Writers@Grinnell, Student Activities and the Student Government Association, this is a major event for the college.

Diaz was honored for his novel “The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” with a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 and has additionally received awards and praise for his works “Drown” and “This is How You Lose Her.” “This is How You Lose Her” was a New York Times Bestseller and a finalist for the National Book Award. Diaz has also been awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2012, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship for his innovative and deeply emotional writing. His books have been well received for their honest and brutal depictions of life as an immigrant, which provides the reader with an idea of how our country has lived up to the legacy etched onto the base of the Statue of Liberty.


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