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By The Skanner News
Published: 18 February 2009

Seattle Arts & Lectures Pulitzer Prize-winning hosts novelist Junot D"az Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium.                                                          
Diaz' book, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is the story of a Black teenaged nerd from the Dominican Republic who longs to be a science fiction writer, but is forced to struggle with issues of racism, political violence and adolescent love as an immigrant in New Jersey. The book won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize.
"When I enter that higher-order space that's required to write, I'm a better human. For whatever my writing is, wherever it's ranked, it definitely is the one place that I get to be beautiful," he writes
Diaz is the winner of a Eugene McDermott Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
His short story collection, Drown, won critical acclaim in 1996 when Diaz was twenty-eight.
Michiko Kakutani called Wao "a wondrous, not-so-brief first novel that is so original it can only be described as Mario Vargas Llosa meets "Star Trek" meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West."
This is fiction that spans countries and continents, pop culture and the establishment, language and time. Diaz bridges the gap with what may soon be its own genre: the immigrant story that jockeys two cultures, two languages, two homes, two families, a patois of street slang, a shake-down of social mores. It is work about going out and coming in; about gazing on and becoming the other; about becoming a self in a new language, a new body, a new land.
Tickets: are available by calling 206-621-2230, or by going to www.lectures.org.

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