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Author Junot Díaz Visits Purchase-SUNY In October For Lecture

Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz Photo Credit:

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- The Purchase College-SUNY School of Humanities will present An Evening with Junot Díaz: A Lecture, Reading, and Conversation on Tuesday, October 7, from 4:30-6 p.m.

The event — which is free and open to the public — will take place at the Pepsico Theater, in the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase). A book signing will follow the lecture/reading.

Part of the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series, the program is supported by an endowment from the Durst family, long-time benefactors of Purchase College.

One of the most exciting and acclaimed writers of our times, Díaz is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the National Book Award for Fiction. He is the author of two collections of stories, "This Is How You Lose Her" (2013) and "Drown" (1997), as well as the best-selling novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008).

“We want to bring great authors to an institution that values literature — and provide inspiration to students who value writing as something important in their lives,” says Ross Daly, associate professor of journalism and chair of the School of Humanities at Purchase College. “The voice that Junot Díaz brings to his writing — sometimes humorous and sometimes very dark — greatly appeals to students.”

“Born in Santo Domingo and brought up in New Jersey, Díaz is an original who brings to life the experience of Latino/a immigrants in the U.S.,” said Louise Yelin, professor of literature at Purchase.

She added, “As this year’s Durst Chair, he follows predecessors such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Jamaica Kincaid, Esmeralda Santiago, and Marjane Satrapi, all writers who navigate between languages and cultures — and between their parents' traditions and their own invented lives.”

Díaz's lecture is the centerpiece of this year’s first-year program at Purchase. Drown, his first story collection, will be read and discussed in the freshman seminars that introduce students to college life and will be a focus of the program at Casa Purchase (Outreach Center for Latin American Studies), which has been founded to strengthen connections between the college and the Westchester Latina/o community.

Visit the event page on the Purchase-SUNY website or call 914-251-6550 for more information about the Junot Díaz event.

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