A Life in Books: Junot Díaz

The Dominican-born author ("Drown") nabbed a Pulitzer this month for "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," his debut novel about a "ghetto nerd" striving to be the next J.R.R. Tolkien. His book bag:

A Book You Always Return To: Samuel R. Delany's "Dhalgren," which best captures that late '60s eruption that has shaped so much of what we call the Now.

A Book You Hope Parents Will Read To Their Kids: Richard Adams's "Watership Down," which is about the very thing kids dream of: that something small can still be a hero.