If you’ve ever wanted an unfiltered glimpse into the inner life of your favorite author, celebrity, or athlete, new philanthropic project Read by Famous gives you that chance. Artist Josh Greene, the project’s organizer, has gathered more than 100 copies of well-read, well-loved, and much commented-in books by authors such as Junot Diaz and Eileen Myles, as well […]
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.
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, […]
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 […]
For all their imaginative potential, fantasy series often fail to think outside the whitewashed walls of the same old box: We can consider worlds in which protagonists must contend not only with dark prophecies and darker enemies, but also with gentrification and unreliable subway lines.
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 […]
Author Daniel José Older talks about his new novel, Shadowshaper, noir influence in urban fantasy, gentrification, white privilege and the publishing industry, and why we need diverse books, now more than ever.
The benefits of quotation marks may seem obvious, but are there drawbacks? Over at The Millions, Jonathan Russell Clark makes the case for leveling the linguistic playing field: One is potentially offensive, controversial, even incendiary; the other is simple reportage. It transfers the meaning to a character and away from the author. But the point […]
Over at Gawker, Jason Parham leads us to an extremely long and incredibly detailed interview with Junot Diaz: “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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Ray Bradbury would’ve turned ninety-four this weekend. Dan Piepenbring commemorates his influence at The Paris Review: “Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s […]
Saturday 8/23: Junot Diaz signs books. La Casa Azul Bookstore, 3 p.m., free. Monday 8/25: Vanessa Manko launches The Invention of Exile with Salman Rushdie, and sponsored by HIP Lit. Manko’s debut novel follows a Russian inventor’s immigration to Connecticut in 1913. Powerhouse, 7 p.m., free. Tuesday 8/26: Justin Taylor and Jess Row read from […]
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 […]
The news of Michael Brown’s death cannot be ignored. When one of our young people dies from shots fired by a police officer, there will be sadness and confusion. There will inevitably be questions, and questions left unanswered will lead to anger. This is a week, perhaps, when we need fiction and art to help […]
Summer isn’t over yet. Read what Junot Díaz, Donald Trump, and others have planned before the weather turns cold. And may we all be as lucky as Junot: Once on a beach in Jamaica, right before an October storm swept in, I fell in love. She had hair like all your best things combined. It […]
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. D&D helped jump-start their creative lives. As Mr. Díaz said, “It’s been a formative […]
Last week, we wrote about Junot Diaz‘s thoughts on the silence around racial identity that he experienced during his MFA in the ‘90s. Salon tracked down the syllabi of two undergrad courses the writer teaches at MIT, in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing Department. Informed of this, Diaz said the following: “I teach classic Gothic texts which are themselves not […]
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 […]
The Voices of Our Nation Arts foundation is now accepting submissions for its summer workshop! Founded in 1999 by, among others, Junot Díaz, VONA helps writers of color develop their work in all genres, from fiction to memoir to graphic novel and beyond. This year’s faculty include Díaz, Staceyann Chin, and Mat Johnson. Applications are […]
For our first interview of 2014, The Rumpus sits down with the luminous Edwidge Danticat to discuss the staying power of the short story, the impact of resistance, statelessness and Dominican-Haitian relations, and giving yourself permission to write.
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 […]
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. I started writing the novel and I instantly felt like, Finally I can breathe. For […]
Saturday 10/26: Junot Diaz comes to the Brooklyn Library to discuss his short story collection This is How You Lose Her (September 2012). As with all Diaz events, expect large crowds. Central Library, Dweck Center, 4pm, free. Joan Retallack reads poetry as part of the Segue Reading Series. Zinc Bar (pdf), 4:30pm, free. Emanuel Xavier […]
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. Housing Works, 7pm, free. Irish author Michèle Forbes reads from her debut novel, Ghost Moth (April […]