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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. Clarke is the ABIA and Indie award winning author of over nine books for adults and children, including the critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the best-selling memoir The Hate Race, the Victorian Premier’s Award winning poetry collection Carrying the World, and the Boston Globe/Horn Prize winning picture book The Patchwork Bike, illustrated by Van T. Rudd.

She is the editor of Best Australian Stories 2017, and Growing Up African in Australia. Her forthcoming poetry collection is How Decent Folk Behave (Hachette).


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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