When Junot Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008, his reaction was “Aw, shit. This is great!” His Dominican mom, on the other hand, was kind of like, meh. Junot was on Late Night with Seth Meyers when he admitted his mom was unimpressed with the ~$10,000 prize it came with and the award itself. She told him that his old paper route was more lucrative, but he defended his mom. “You got to understand, it’s hard to translate cultural capital to people,” he told Meyers. Watch the video below, because it’s the most relatable thing, probably, ever.
In 2012, Junot had another chance to impress his mom with his MacArthur “Genius” Grant, which pays $625,000.