Junot Diaz Wins 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Published April 8, 2008/The Guardian
Summary by 406mon2 Dominican-American writer Junot Diaz won the prestigious 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He won for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which explores the life of a Dominican family’s immigrant experience in the United States. Diaz also examines the relationship this family, like many immigrant families, maintained with the home and culture they left behind. It is this central theme of duality that is the hallmark of the immigrant experience in the United States and in the work of Diaz.
Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic, a Caribbean island that is also comprised of Haiti, in 1968. He immigrated to the United States when he was six. Dias was hailed by the New Yorker Magazine as one of the top 20 young writers of the 21st century. His short stories have appeared in many illustrious literary magazines such as The New Yorker and the Paris Review. His short story collection Drown caused a literary sensation when in was published in 1996.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a nerdy Dominican-American boy living in New Jersey and his family, also won the National Book Critics Circle Award earlier this year.
Diaz said,” "For any young person who's attempting to make art against all the odds, I hope this can be inspiration and motivation."
In the other literature categories, Philip Schultz won the Pulitzer Prize for his poetry collection Failure and Robert Hass shared the poetry prize with him. Hass was awarded for his poetry collection Time and Materials. John Matteson won for his biography Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father, Daniel Walker Howe won in the history category for his book What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 and Saul Friedlander won for his non-fiction work The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945.