The University of Iowa

A micro-interview with Junot Díaz

Author Junot Díaz, unflinching and unprecedented with his craft, is known for illuminating the U.S. Latinx immigrant experience. A Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, teacher, essayist, and activist, his writing has made storytelling accessible to communities that did not previously see themselves in literature—as readers, writers, and people.

Díaz is this year’s visiting writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa’s Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing. Preceding his arrival, Díaz answered a few questions for The Iowa Review about his commitment to writing, or lack thereof, and how he has been facing fear lately, among other things.

Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of DrownThe Brief and 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. 

Díaz is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/O. Henry Award, and the Ella Baker Award from the Hurston/Wright Foundation. 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.



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