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If the act of "writing reduces" Junot Díaz, we, his readers, are "rehumanized" by his work. His generous and compassionate act of "taking the knife and cutting out pieces of his arm" makes us whole. Thank you, Ms. Kwon, for your insightful interview with Mr. Díaz.
This wonderful interview allows me see even more voices at play than when I read this tremendous novel. Diaz's insights on the position of fictional narrators are striking. The comment, "Dictators ride the same wavelength that writers use to convince you to stay in a novel," is especially worth pondering.
I am very fond of the writings of Junot Diaz. He is a very talented writer. Reese has done a very good job as well
Thank you for this fabulous and insightful interview with Junot Diaz. His comment about MFAs on reading struck me as both truthful and funny, and his comment about teaching compassion is right on. His work and his humility are impressive, and Ms. Kwon did a stellar job capturing those qualities.
Wonderful interview. The writing experience is, no doubt, an odyssey, but with the right mind and persistence one can succeed. That is exactly what Diaz did. According to Shakespeare, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them"; Diaz clearly achieved greatness!
I finally got around to reading this last night and am so very glad I saved the link. First, a tribute to Reese Kwon. It isn't easy to bring someone out like this. I keep thinking about what Díaz said about how distressing the act of writing is for him. How long it takes, never trusting much of it, never knowing if you’re going to make it to the end or if it’s going to work, and how that doesn’t seem to be the case with other writers. His way of thinking is almost a koan. I was trying to explain the act of writing to someone and her question to me was, "Then why do you write?" Though I couldn't at the time, I wanted to say what Díaz said, "For me, writing feels like rolling up my emotional sleeves and putting my hand into a fire. The funny part is that I know if I hold my hand in the fire for four, five, six years, something will come out. I wish I could figure out a way that didn’t necessitate this psychic anguish."