Fundraiser Featuring Junot Diaz to Raise Money For Hispanic Resource Center in Mamaroneck NY


Those that remember Junot Diaz’s memorable character Oscar in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, will recall the epic struggle he faced reconciling cultural expectations of his Dominican heritage—he was supposed to be successful with girls—versus the reality of his life as a “ghetto nerd” who loves science fiction, cartoons and role-playing game more than the ladies he’s supposed to be chasing.

Mementos of Diaz’s life are woven through the story—he attended Rutgers University as Oscar does—and moved to Old Bridge from the Dominican Republic when he was six years old.

As Diaz told the Star Ledger in a 2005 article (according to his life was anything but easy: “I’ll always be an immigrant boy, poor as hell, living in New Jersey next to a rotting, burning landfill.”

Diaz, who is now a professor of creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the second Latino to win a Pulitzer, hopes to inspire future generations to identify with his struggles, but not be tethered by them.

“The applause for these things fade quickly, but if anything lasting comes of it, I hope it will encourage every other poor young kid from a similar marginalized background in New Jersey,” he told in a 2008 interview.

Fans of Diaz can attend a fundraiser “An Evening with Junot Diaz” this Saturday, May 18 from 6-9 p.m. at a private home in Rye; tickets for the event are $200 and will benefit the Hispanic Resource Center (HRC) of Mamaroneck.

HRC Board member Kelly Grayer said that Diaz will discuss his books and take questions from the audience.

“It will be a one-of-a-kind evening celebrating Latino artistry with critically acclaimed author, Junot Diaz, and talented singer-songwriter, Alex Berne,” she said.

The HRC serves approximately 3,500 immigrant adults and children in the community by assisting them with social services, helping with job placements and providing educational programs and workshops.

To purchase tickets for the fundraiser please visit here .xi

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