Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz would make for an ideal travel companion. The author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which the BBC recently named the 21st century’s “best novel so far,” is smart, well-traveled, and always ready with a suggestion for a new book. “I am an insane reader,” Díaz says in the latest issue of Celebrity Cruises’ AXESS magazine. There is nothing I won’t sink my eyes into and enjoy immensely.”
Currently working as the fiction editor at Boston Review and as the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at MIT, Díaz says travel to his home country remains a priority. “I left Santo Domingo when I was six years old, but I never forgot about it,” he says. “I think that fueled a lot of my returns and a lot of trying to immerse myself in that place that once was mine.”
In between his teaching and activism work on behalf of writers of color, Díaz is currently at work on a science fiction tome, which will feature a 14-year old female protagonist with superpowers.
At our behest, Díaz pulled together three tips to guarantee terrific travels:
1. Bring Books—Lots of Books
“One of the things about travel is that there’s a lot of dead time. And so I read constantly. In some ways, I kind of enjoy my time at airports because I get to polish off novels. ”
2. Always Carry A Notebook With You
“I have a blue covered notebook that I always feel like I get lucky on. It’s by Apica from Japan.”
3. Take the Path Less Traveled
“Certainly what I know works best for me is the least sexy of all, which is that you have to immerse yourself in a radical way in the local conventions. Having a breathless curiosity goes very far because it allows you to interact with the world in ways you might not have otherwise.
For more on Junot Díaz, pick up the latest copy of AXESS magazine.