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at Athenaeum Theatre

Junot Díaz

Our scheduled event with Junot Díaz this Monday will no longer take place after the cancellation of the rest of his tour. We always take seriously our responsibility to ensure that our platform and our spaces are safe for our guests and audiences alike. The Wheeler Centre is inspired by the bravery of those sharing their stories and is committed to an accountable and responsive literary community for everyone.

'Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.’

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in New Jersey. His brilliant short-story collections (Drown and This Is How You Lose Her) and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) centre on the lives of young Dominican-Americans. With tremendous charm, pathos and irony, Díaz’s fiction explores questions of diasporic identity, exclusion and belonging.

Díaz has returned to these same themes with his latest venture, but this time he's bringing his insight and imagination to a totally new audience: children. Islandborn is Díaz’s first foray into kids’ books and it’s a story about creativity, connection and the meaning of home.

Díaz is a storyteller of extraordinary humour and heart. Hosted by Maxine Beneba Clarke, he’ll discuss how he reads, writes and remembers at the Athenaeum Theatre in May.


Portrait of Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. His most recent book is the picture book Islandborn.

Portrait of Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, the AgeMeanjin, the Saturday Paper and the Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015. 


An alchemy of writers. An explosion of ideas.

Do you like your military history with a side of hip-hop? How about fabulist fiction beside trailblazing journalism? This May, take your brain out for a spin. You’ll meet Pulitzer-winners, YA stars, eminent historians, poets, rappers and some of the world’s best living novelists.

Event partners

Logos of partner organisations: Sydney Writers Festival, Auckland Writers Festival, State Library Victoria, State Library of Queensland, Byron Writers Festival and 3RRR


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