Quite a stretch for MIT creative writing professor Junot Diaz. Barely a week after winning a prestigious MacArthur grant for his writing, Diaz, 43, is a fiction finalist for a National Book Award for his work, “This is How You Lose Her.” The finalists were announced Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show. The winners will be named on Nov. 14.
Diaz has company from this area among the finalists. Acclaimed poet David Ferry, who is 88 and who lives in Brookline, is an emeritus professor at Wellesley College while also teaching at Boston University and Suffolk University. He is a finalist for poetry. Last year he won the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and donated the $100,000 award to various social service groups.