by Desiree Johnson and Gregg McQueen
When Junot Díaz first shared with some closest to him that he wanted to be a writer, they were not exactly encouraging.
“They laughed,” he recalled. “I definitely didn’t [become a writer] for my family’s approval.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and This Is How You Lose Her, among other works, visited the George Washington Educational Campus on January 29 for an intimate chat with students.
The visit was part of a recurring lecture series hosted by the campus’ High School of Media and Communications (HSMC).
“I came from a family that wanted me to find a good job that won some pocket change,” said Díaz, a statement that drew near-instant murmurs of understanding from the two dozen students.
“I was young when I started using art as my sort of haven,” he said. “Eventually you find out if you love it or not because you keep doing it.”
Díaz said it took him a while to build a wider audience.
“At first, nobody paid attention except for Dominicans and writing nerds,” said Díaz, who switched between English and Spanish in his remarks.