Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz is taking the stage in Sun Valley on Nov. 20, and in preparation for his upcoming lecture, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is already hard at work. On Thursday, Nov. 12, the center's Junior Patrons Circle will host a discussion of Diaz's first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani described as a "streetwise brand of Spanglish that even the most monolingual reader can easily inhale: lots of flash words and razzle-dazzle talk, lots of body language on the sentences, lots of David Foster Wallace-esque footnotes and asides." Comprised of people age 21-50, the Junior Patrons Circle is a membership club and volunteer group dedicated to furthering the goals of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. They seek to inform young adults and their families about the center, as well as get the next generation involved in the arts and their community.
Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic, and much of his writing reflects his experience as an immigrant in America. In addition to the Pulitzer, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was also awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and was named the best novel of 2007 by 35 publications ranging from Time to New York Magazine. Not bad for a first book. Add in a teaching gig at MIT and a position as the Boston Review's fiction editor and here is one uniquely talented individual worthy of discussion. This free event will be held at Ketchum's Iconoclast Books, and all attendees will receive a sweet 10-percent off Diaz's novel.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., FREE, Iconoclast Books, 671 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum, 208-726-1564. For more information, call 208-726-9491 or visit sunvalleycenter.org.