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Course Hero. "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide." Course Hero. 25 May 2017. Web. 20 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, May 25). The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 20, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/

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Course Hero. "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide." May 25, 2017. Accessed July 20, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/.

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Course Hero, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Study Guide," May 25, 2017, accessed July 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/The-Brief-Wondrous-Life-of-Oscar-Wao/.

Junot Díaz | Biography

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Junot Díaz was born on December 31, 1968, in Santo Domingo, one of five children in his family. He immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a young child, growing up in Parlin, New Jersey—a similar town to where Oscar, Lola, and Yunior grow up in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. During his adolescence Díaz lived in a rough neighborhood and would spend time at the library to escape, where he became a voracious reader. He describes his younger self as a "ghetto nerd."

He went on to attend Rutgers University and Cornell University. During college he discovered the writing of American novelist Toni Morrison and American writer Sandra Cisneros, whom he has cited as two of his biggest influences. He later became a Professor of Writing at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the literature editor at the political and literary forum Boston Review. He has been an advocate of and speaker on issues of immigration and race in the Dominican Republic and the United States. Díaz also helped found Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, which gives workshops for writers of color.

After releasing a collection of short stories called Drowned, Díaz worked on writing his first novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for 11 years. The publication of Díaz's first novel was met with much acclaim. Díaz stated that the narrator, Yunior, is based in part on his own autobiographical experience as a Dominican-American young man growing up in New Jersey. Like Yunior, Díaz went on to study literature in college and become a professor of creative writing. In this light, Yunior can be seen as a lens through which Díaz tackles his own questions about masculinity, identity, and the immigrant experience. He has used the character of Yunior to narrate several of his books. Díaz sees himself in Oscar because of their love for sci-fi and fantasy. If Díaz's life and influences had been different, his fate might have been that of Oscar.The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, and Díaz received a MacArthur Genius Grant for his work in 2012.

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