Audio and video come courtesy of the New York Public Library, who hosted Toni Morrison and Junot Díaz on December 12 in the NYLP’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building:
LIVE closes the Fall 2013 season with a conversation between 2013 Library Lion Junot Díaz and the writer who most influenced him, Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison.
"I think the most sustained love of mine," Díaz has said, "the one that’s carried me through all these years, is my relationship with Toni Morrison. I’m telling you, I’m one of those people who’s still cracking my head on many of the ideas Toni Morrison both suggested and elaborated on in her work." Witness a powerful event as Díaz comes face to face with his literary hero to celebrate her remarkable career.
Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities, Emerita at Princeton University. Her ten major novels, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Tar Baby, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, Love, A Mercy and Home have received extensive critical acclaim. She received the National Book Critics Award in 1978 for Song of Solomon and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Beloved. Both novels were chosen as the main selections for the Book of the Month Club in 1977 and 1987 respectively. In 2006 Beloved was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as the best work of American fiction published in the last quarter-century. In 1993 Ms. Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Toni Morrison is a Trustee of the New York Public Library, a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the North American Network of Cities of Asylum, and the Author’s Guild where she served on the Guild Council and as Foundation Treasurer. She served on the NEA National Council of the Arts for six years.
Junot Díaz’s first book, the short story collection Drown, established him as a writer with "the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet” (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, established him as a bestseller and earned critical acclaim; Wao was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year” by Time magazine and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In his new book, This Is How You Lose Her, Díaz again offers a collection of short stories, all deeply concerned with love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. Diaz is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winner.
Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and a Lila Acheson Wallace Reader’s Digest Award. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and on the Board of the Pulitzer Prize, and is the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives in New York City.