Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our October Author: Junot Diaz

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoOur October author, Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) is not media shy. Here are just a few interviews to consider.

This Poets & Writers profile includes details of his friendship with another Rights Readers author, Francisco Goldman (The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?).


Slate: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao isn't just about Oscar Wao's life; it spans the course of many decades and tells the stories of several people related to Oscar. The effect is of fragmentation rather than linear progression. Why did you choose to structure the story like this?
Díaz: I'm a product of a fragmented world. Take a brief look at Dominican or Caribbean history and you'll see that the structure of the book is more in keeping with the reality of this history than with its most popular myth: that of unity and continuity. In my mind the book was supposed to take the shape of an archipelago; it was supposed to be a textual Caribbean. Shattered and yet somehow holding together, somehow incredibly vibrant and compelling.
Guernica (I can never pass up a good rabbit reference).

Guernica: [What is your] favorite character from a book.

Junot Diaz: Fiver from Watership Down

Guernica: Why?

Junot Diaz: He’s kind of like a little nerd rabbit. But even though he’s very tiny he’s very brave.
Of course one cannot go wrong with NPR's Fresh Air. NPR also catches him sharing Thanksgiving memories, reflecting on the immigrant experience, and the 2008 election.


In a sort of summit of nerdishness, Junot Diaz meets Stephen Colbert:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Junot Diaz
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

The book has been made into a play and a film is in development.

Finally, last month Amnesty International issued press releases regarding proposed changes to the Dominican constitution which will affect access to safe abortion. See also current actions concerning the Dominican Republic here.
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