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Monday, January 30, 2023

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Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz

Student Success Fee Brings Pulitzer Prize Author Junot Díaz to Campus

A reading and book signing is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 31.
By Coleen L. Geraghty

Hundreds of San Diego State University students are registered to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz read from his work at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Montezuma Hall.

Díaz's novels and short stories unfold in his native country, the Dominican Republic, and in the Dominican-American communities of New York and New Jersey, where he grew up.

Díaz's appearance at San Diego State University is supported by the Student Success Fee and hosted by the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MALAS) graduate program in the College of Arts and Letters. MALAS student Fernanda Vega Huerta wrote the successful grant; MALAS program director William Nericcio will MC the reading.

Immigrant rights

In a telephone interview, Díaz outlined the major themes of his writing—masculinity, intimacy, histories of oppression, the African diaspora and immigrant experiences.

“My solidarity and my labors are directed toward securing and expanding immigrant rights,” he said. “We have a political system that doesn’t serve anybody but the elite. That’s highly disappointing and highly problematic.”

Vega Huerta studies literature from a feminist perspective through the work of trans-border writers. She said she hopes Díaz's presentation will spark discussion and help the San Diego community better understand immigrants’ contributions to the U.S. economy and culture.

“SDSU will have the opportunity to hear from a distinguished writer, scholar and activist about issues that are currently dividing our nation,” she said.

About Junot Díaz

Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” His other works of fiction include “This Is How You Lose Her” and “Drown,” a collection of short stories.
He is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the PEN/Malamud Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award.

About the Student Success Fee

The Student Success Fee was approved by SDSU students in spring 2014 and became effective in the fall of that year. Approximately 10 percent of the fee is dedicated to enhancing student success through expanded academic related programs. The remainder is used to increase the number of tenure-track faculty positions and course sections.

Examples of academic related programs include, but are not limited to: student colloquia, lecture series, seminars, student projects, student competitions, student forums, student exhibitions, student productions, student performances and participation at professional conferences.