For author Junot Díaz, it's time to add yet another trophy to the mantle. The Dominican-American writer's latest book, this year's This Is How You Lose Her, was announced this morning as a finalist for the National Book Award.
- This Is How You Lose Her: Junot Diaz's Oscar Wao Follow-Up
Junot Díaz's last novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, earned a Pulitzer in 2008. So it's not exactly shocking that his next attempt, this year's This Is How You Lose Her, would meet similar critical acclaim. But being named to the finalists circle for the National Book Award, which honors outstanding literary work by U.S. citizens, is recognition Díaz had not yet enjoyed until this morning.
Other finalists in the fiction category include Dave Eggers, A Hologram for the King; Louise Erdrich, The Round House; Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk; and Kevin Powers, The Yellow Birds.
No, Díaz hasn't won the prize -- not yet, anyway. But merely appearing on the short list is an award in itself. Past finalists have included Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Wolfe, Don DeLillo, and Toni Morrison.
This Is How You Lose Her is a collection of interconnected short stories centered on Yunior, a secondary character from Díaz's Oscar Wao novel. Each individual story tells of a different split between two romantically linked people; taken as a whole, the collection is an examination of Latin cultural expectations of gender, and how they affect intimate relationships.
Díaz is confirmed to appear once again at this year's Miami Book Fair International, giving Miamians another chance to hear and interact with an author well on his way to a reputation as one of the greatest writers of his generation.
Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.