Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Junot Diaz: Why race is still relevant in fiction.
In light of everything we've been reading about race, language, and masculinity, I thought it'd be interesting to throw Junot Diaz into the mix. If you've never heard of Diaz, he's a Dominican American author who currently has two published books: Drown, a collection of short stories, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a novel that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008. All of his writing has to do with the experience of Dominican immigrants in the United States, and many of his stories are told from the point of view of Yunior, a young Dominican American man.
I found this interview with Diaz on the NPR website and thought I'd share it, especially because he's an interesting guy to just listen to, especially because I've found that his manner of speaking is very similar to the way he writes.
In this interview, he talks about the fact that not many other people are writing about the Dominican American minority group, how he writes in English despite the fact that the language doesn't feel "organic" to him because it isn't his first language, and why he chooses to insert Spanish phrases into his writing without translating them -- much like Gloria Anzaldua.
I thought it would be interesting to put a more contemporary writer alongside everything we've read to so far, just to show how minority writers still see the things we're learning about as being major issues today.
Also, if you're interested, here's a story by Diaz, which was published in The New Yorker, just to show you what his writing is like.
And also because it's a really good story.