An Evening with Junot Díaz: A Lecture, Reading, and Conversation


Tuesday, October 7, 2014
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm


The Purchase College-SUNY School of Humanitieswill present An Evening with Junot Díaz: A Lecture, Reading, and Conversation on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. The event—which is free and open to the public—will take place at the Pepsico Theater, the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY). 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, Junot 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.”

Louise Yelin, professor of literature at Purchase College, explains, “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.” She adds, “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 October 7th 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.

According to Anthony Domestico, assistant professor of literature at Purchase College, “Díaz is one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in contemporary American fiction. He’s a first-rate stylist who is also unafraid to engage with the biggest issues: race, gender, class, history, and the place of art within the broader world.”

A generous gift from the late Shirley Durst established an endowed fund to support the Durst Chair in Literature, awarded to distinguished professors whose work bridges literature and the visual or performing arts, and the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series, for visiting professors and other lecturers.  This generous support has benefited the college and especially enriched the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Humanities, and the Literature program at Purchase College.

Upcoming programs of the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series will feature Colson Whitehead and Masha Gessen.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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The Performing Arts Center/Purchase College
735 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, New York
Handicap Accessible? Yes

Date: Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Times: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Ticket pricing:
Free event
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Presenter: Purchase College-SUNY School of Humanities
Presenter Phone: 914.251.6550
Presenter Website:

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