The start of the fall semester brought a notable addition to NYU’s already renowned faculty.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz, best known for his works Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, is the new distinguished writer in residence for the Creative Writing Program at NYU.
Díaz told WSN he enjoyed the environment and atmosphere of New York City. “It’s a great honor to be a professor here,” Diaz said. “I have spectacular colleagues and wonderful students and I’m home as well. To speak of New York City is to speak in clichés and superlatives, but it’s really a city that inspires on so many levels. As an artist, New York is irreplaceable.”
Director of the Creative Writing Program Deborah Landau, who chose Díaz, said he was her first choice for writer in residence. “He’s such a brilliant and talented writer,” she said. “Plus he was a huge hit last year when he visited the university. I hope that he can be a mentor to his students and lead them down paths of success similar to his.”
Díaz said while he enjoys writing, he might be inclined to put it on hold for now. “There are so many reasons why I took the job,” he said. “But in particular, I get the chance to play at an institute where the humanities are more central. It’s been a while since I’ve done something like that. I’d still like to continue writing, but it doesn’t seem like I’ll really get the opportunity to do so.”
He also said he was unsure of what exactly he wanted to achieve as a professor but looked forward to gaining experience. “NYU is part of a larger journey,” Díaz said. “I’m hoping that being at the school will challenge and open me up in new ways. I guess most basically I want to grow, and I think NYU will facilitate that.”
Díaz is currently teaching Master Class in Fiction on Tuesdays and Workshop in Fiction I on Wednesdays.
For the original report go to http://nyunews.com/2010/09/20/21diaz/print/