Although born in the Dominican Republic on December 31, 1968, Junot Díaz has spent most of his life in the United States. He grew up in New Jersey and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and history from Rutgers in 1992 (the same college his character Oscar attended). Famed author Toni Morrison was one of Díaz’s writing mentors. He currently teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The New Yorker has listed Díaz as one of the top twenty writers of the twenty-first century, and his stories have appeared in four different issues of the annual Best American Short Stories. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is his first novel. His other book, Drown (1997), is an oft-praised collection of coming-of-age short stories. Over the past decade, he has won numerous awards, including the Pushcart Prize, the MIT Eugene McDermott Prize (1998), and the PEN/Malamud Award (2002) for his short fiction. He won the 2007 Sargent First Novel Prize for Oscar Wao.
Díaz lives in New York City and has dedicated this novel to his fiancée, Elizabeth de León.