Junot Diaz is one of the most famous and influential writers working today. His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won a Pulitzer Prize and is on the 12th grade Advanced Placement Literature syllabus here at CHAH. It tells a multigenerational story of a Dominican-American family, blending the lines between history and fiction. The novel, like the other books by Diaz, deals with themes of family, culture, diaspora, love, and what it's like to not always fit in.
This week, the AP Literature students got to meet Junot Diaz at a reading at St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn. The students heard him read from his collection of short stories, Drown, and listened to his incredibly candid responses during the question-and-answer discussion. Junot Diaz encouraged the audience to "read more rebelliously" and find books that they enjoyed and that related to their own lives.
After the discussion, Diaz signed books and posed for photos with his readers and fans.
"I connected a lot of the things he said to what we've been talking about in AP Lit," Zaria said.
"He wasn't like I thought he'd be," Alexis noticed. "He was cool. It was chill."
"I still would have gone, even if I didn't get the extra credit," said Jeffrey. "I will attend more things like this in the future."
An article by Samantha Samel in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle describes the content of Diaz's talk in much more detail here: SAMEL ARTICLE.
Oh, and 2 teachers, Ms. Korn and Mr. Dickhudt, giddily got their photo taken with Junot Diaz as well.