• Junot Diaz, the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

    Junot Diaz, the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

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The 'signature novel' of the decade

Junot Diaz, the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies

Junot Díaz's 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao' cited as a defining work


Writing in New York Magazine, Sam Anderson calls Junot Díaz's 2007 novel a defining work of the decade:   

"If there is a signature novel of the aughts — one book that most artfully co-opted our newfangled webbiness, that allowed itself to feel simultaneously major and small, that anchored its post-postmodern gimmickry in solid fictional ground — it was Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ... The really stunning thing about Oscar Wao, in true aughts fashion, is its style.

Díaz turns the book over to a small crowd of narrators, each of whom seems to channel 100 different subcultures and dialects. The result is a reference-studded Spanglish loaded so densely with extratextual shout-outs (ringwraiths, Le Corbusier, Joseph Conrad’s wife) it practically requires the web as an unofficial appendix. The book could have been sponsored by Google and Wikipedia; you either have to consult them constantly or just surrender to the vastness of the knowledge you don’t have—which is, of course, its own kind of pleasure."

Full commentary at New York Magazine


Junot Díaz is the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, located in the MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. For his 2007 novel, Professor Díaz has received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the New York Times Notable Book (Gold Medal), the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Books and authors, Faculty, Humanities

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