Ever since the Swedes gave Obama the Nobel Prize before he’d actually done anything, I’ve wondered what goes on behind the closed doors of the secret chambers where they bestow such honors.
And never more than now, with the MacArthur Foundation’s baffling decision to deem 43-year-old fiction writer Junot Díaz a “Genius” worthy of the Read More
Recipients of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship — known as the “genius grants”–were announced today. The award cannot be applied for and recipients don’t know they being considered for it until they win. Novelist Junot Diaz was one of this year’s winners. He described the experience in an expletive-filled interview with The Observer this evening.
“It’s like finding the fucking golden ticket,” Mr. Diaz said. “It’s like finding an extra bedroom in your New York studio apartment.”
At first, you weren’t sure how to feel about Junot Díaz’s latest book of short stories, This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead, 224 pp., $26.95). You think this might have had something to do with his use of the second person.
When you set the book down, your first instinct was to say it’s very different from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but the more you thought about it, the more you realized that there are quite a few similarities. There are the multiple vignettes feeding into the same essential story line, the nerd patois that peppers the text with references to geek pop culture, the second person and, obviously, the heartbreak. So why doesn’t it feel similar?
Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz appeared on The Colbert Report last night to discuss the nerdiness of his title character in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Joseph Pulitzer’s immigrant past; and his parents’ confusion about what the Pulitzer prize actually is. When Mr. Colbert asked about scenes in Mr. Diaz’s book that involve Read More
You can catch the besweatered, much-buzzed about indie pop band Vampire Weekend, untouchable soul strutter Sharon Jones and, um, Junot Diaz at Central Park SummerStage this year. The City Parks Foundation announced their line-up and it’s going to be a doozy, with Brooklyn’s Santogold and Diplo getting the crowd rowdy and Richard Price living the Read More
Junot You Can’t Wait Amazon’s Omnivoracious blog has an interview with Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz (Does he still smile every time he hears that?) and an excerpt from a work-in-progress he’s calling Dark America. New York‘s Vulture Blog (which tipped us off to the link) says "It’s pretty rad…"
Mixed Read More
Junot Diaz seems to be the darling of the fiction world right now. His long awaited debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a nerdy Dominican boy Yunior, won the National Book Critics Circle Award as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year. Mr. Diaz seems to be reeling; he Read More
The National Book Critics Circle honored 2007′s best authors at the New School last night. Alex Ross, the Observer’s Best Listener in America according to Doree Shafrir, and Junot Diaz were among the big winners. Edwidge Danticat’s memoir, Brother, I’m Dying and Mary Jo Bang’s poetry collection, Elegy, also received awards. Full list of Read More
THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO
By Junot Díaz
Riverhead, 340 pages, $24.95
We’ve waited a long time for a novel from Junot Díaz. The Dominican-American author blasted the publishing world in 1996 with Drown, a book of short stories mainly about the macho scrambling of Dominican immigrants in industrial New Jersey. Read More