Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo Dominican Republic
He is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize.
Díaz was born in Villa Juana, a neighborhood in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He was the third child in a family of five.
Throughout most of his early childhood, he lived with his mother and grandparents while his father worked in the United States. Díaz emigrated to Parlin, New Jersey in December 1974, where he was re-united with his father. There he lived less than a mile from what he has described as “one of the largest landfills in New Jersey”.
He attended Madison Park Elementaryand was a voracious reader, often walking four miles in order to borrow books from his public library. At this time Díaz became fascinated with apocalyptic films and books, especially the work of John Christopher, the original Planet of the Apes films, and the BBC mini-series Edge of Darkness. Díaz graduated from Cedar Ridge High School (now merged to form Old Bridge High School) in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey in 1987
Junot Diaz’ fiction has appeared in The New Yorker African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O’Henry Prize Stories 2009.
He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Junot is also the honorary chairman for the Dominican charity group DREAM.
He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948) and Nancy Allen professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Biography taken from Junot’s official site: Junotdiaz.com