Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
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What does it mean to be included in the O. Henry Prize Stories? How does an author refine their art? We've given the authors of the winning and recommended stories free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

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Comments Junot Díaz
O. Henry Award-winning Author

This is the first time this has ever happened and who knows--it may be the last time. It's a tremendous honor. Nothing better than being in such excellent, varied company.

(author photo © Lily Oei)

Writing Tips

I am the slowest writer of stories I know. I'm the slowest writer I know period. It doesn't help that I find story writing excruciatingly difficult; I try everything I can do avoid writing these damn things but some stories just impose themselves on you and there's nothing you can do. Once the story starts pouring out onto the page I buckle down and get to the slow grinding work of making sure every word is correct, making sure that all the silences are working correctly, making sure that it is, in the end, a story with the time of a reader.

About the Author

Junot Díaz was born in 1968 in the Dominican Republic, raised in New Jersey, and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the John Sargent, Sr., First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Díaz has been awarded the Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is fiction editor of Boston Review and Rudge (1948), and is Nancy Allen Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Writer's Desk

  • I'm currently working on bsolutely nothing! Which is too bad....

  • Writer's Desk

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