Junot Díaz, whose literary portraits of his home country are by turns critical and sympathetic, has been deemed unpatriotic by the Dominican Republic’s consul in New York, Eduardo Selman. After campaigning in Washington for the rights of undocumented immigrants, the author was stripped of an order of merit award presented to him in 2009....more
Posts Tagged: Junot Diaz
For the Huffington Post, Carolina Moreno discusses Junot Diaz’s recent appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where the award-winning author stressed the importance of reading authors from diverse backgrounds:
You look at this country and you look at this world and you need to understand it in complex ways… And part of that complexity is, of course, questions of gender: If you don’t want to deal and relate and think about what it means to be a woman in this planet— you’re going to have serious problems.
In a short interview with the Los Angeles Times, Junot Diaz discusses how he chooses what works to read at events, some books he’s reading now and loving, and America’s uncanny ability to erase racial struggle from its collective mind:
I think that we’re in another moment where historically, periodically issues of race and the kind of panorama in which we live becomes more clear and comes into focus.
Eventually the bruises and the rage faded, but not the fear. The fear remained. An awful withering dread that coiled around my bowels — that followed me into my dreams.
Author Junot Diaz writes about the first time he got beat up, how it created a debilitating fear that stayed with him for years, and how he moved past it....more
“When as a young person you lose all your bearings, all your reference points, when the gap between where you were and where you are is as vast as the one that yawned between the DR and the US, you’re going to struggle mightily to explain not only what happened but also to explain oneself.
For T Magazine, seven authors reflect on the experience of revisiting and annotating their early works for an upcoming PEN American Center fundraiser. George Saunders thinks his style in CivilWarLand in Bad Decline was “manic and abrupt.” Jennifer Egan still regrets that she failed to include an Epic poetry chapter in A Visit From the Goon Squad....more
Samuel “Chip” Delany’s penned the landmark 800 page science fiction tri-sexual space novel, any number of short stories set through all corners of the galaxy, and a craft book Junot Diaz calls “a measure of what all criticism and literature should aspire to be, but what you might not know is that he also wrote for Wonder Woman:....more
Homogeneity in the literary scene isn’t a recent development. Earlier this year, Junot Diaz caused a stir by branding the unbearable too-whiteness of his workshop experience. Justin Torres and Ayana Mathis couldn’t help but contribute:
“One of the characters is sort of referred to as having something like almond skin, something that would identify the character as black.
The role-playing fantasy game, Dungeons & Dragons, has just turned 40. And along with its enduring popularity comes a literary legacy:
For certain writers, especially those raised in the 1970s and ’80s, all that time spent in basements has paid off.
Salon tracked down the syllabi of two undergrad courses the writer teaches at MIT, in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing Department....more
In the 1990s, Junot Diaz enrolled in an MFA program where there was silence when it came to critical discussions of racial identity. As Diaz writes in the New Yorker, “Shit, in my workshop we never talked about race except on the rare occasion someone wanted to argue that ‘race discussions’ were exactly the discussion a serious writer should not be having.” In this sentiment, there was a refusal to truly acknowledge the lives and cultures of certain groups of people....more
We’re all very excited about the new Beyoncé album (especially the track featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), but there’s another must-hear event for literary types: a Live from the New York Public Library conversation between Junot Díaz and Toni Morrison.
Díaz once said in an interview that “the most sustained love of mine, the one that’s carried me through all these years, is my relationship with Toni Morrison,” and as one of the NYPL’s 2013 Library Lions, he got the chance to speak with her at length onstage....more
When I started writing a novel I thought, I’m not ready, because I’ve only written short stories and nobody wants them, but I also thought, For Christ’s sake, what am I going to do? I can’t keep on like this.
Monday 10/21: Novelist Jonathan Grimwood hosts Charlotte Druckman, Gideon Lewis-Kraus, and Matt Gross for an evening of storytelling focused on obsessions. Grimwood’s novel, The Last Banquet (October 2013), set in Enlightenment era Versailles, will inspire refreshments served by chef Emily Casey....more
If you missed The New Yorker Festival, you can click here to see Rumpus interviewees Karen Russell and Junot Díaz talk to New Yorker’s Willing Davidson about children characters and fantasy genre, as well as Rumpus Book Club interviewee George Saunders discussing his life and career with New Yorker’s Deborah Treisman....more
Social news site Reddit doesn’t have a reputation as the most literary place on the Internet, but its AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) subreddit can be a valuable way to connect authors and readers—sort of like a huge version of our Rumpus Book Club chats....more