Junot Díaz (born December 31, 1968) is a Dominican-American writer, creative writing professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience, particularly the Latino immigrant experience.Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Díaz immigrated with his family to New Jersey when he was six years old. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, and shortly after graduating created the character "Yunior", who served as narrator of several of his later books. After obtaining his MFA from Cornell University, Díaz published his first book, the 1995 short story collection Drown.
Diaz received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and received a MacArthur Fellowship "Genius Grant" in 2012. Appointed chair of the Pulitzer Board in April 2018, he stepped down soon after amid controversy over allegations of sexual harassment were made by the author Zinzi Clemmons and several other female writers. The issue sparked controversy in feminist circles regarding the role of race or ethnicity in the public and media response to such allegations.