Junot Diaz Archive

Why Write Short Stories?

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Much like our lives, short stories are brief and end abruptly. They summon entire worlds in just a few pages and then bow out, with startling precision and compression. It is a delicate balance, and such delicate work requires small hands.

Opulence and Escalators: Xu Xi’s “Famine”

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Every once in a while the short story gets its moment in the literary spotlight. It happened in 2008 when Elizabeth Strout’s linked story collection, Olive Kitteridge, won the Pulitzer Prize; and again in 2013 when the Nobel Prize committee recognized Alice Munro’s lifetime achievement in the form.

Anonymity, Truth, and Authenticity: the Ferrante Papers

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I’ll admit that I do believe in knowing about the author when I’m reading a book. The limits of an approach that is basically all about the text, and nothing but the text – so that taking into account biographical or historical elements, in short replacing the text within

Hidden Idiom

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Around this time last year, Jamaica held its first Pride parade. The whole thing took place in the country’s capital. There’s a smog that settles over Kingston in the afternoon, like this funk that pedestrians and motorists and bike-riders can’t avoid.

Round-Up: NC Anti-Trans Bill, Who Reads the Most e-Books, and PEN’s Israeli Sponsorship

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From authors who are taking a stand for human rights to a new study revealing who reads the most e-books, here’s all of last week’s literary news:   Several authors have responded to North Carolina’s anti-trans bill by canceling scheduled appearances in the state on their book tours. However, these cancellations may

Indie Spotlight: Pressgang

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Begun in 2012 by fiction writer Bryan Furuness, Pressgang is based at Butler University and is affiliated with Butler’s MFA program and the Vivian S. Delbrook Visiting Writer Series. Pressgang’s initial publications have come from its Pressgang Prize, which awards $1,500 and publication to a book-length fiction or memoir

A Recommendation

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Just west of Houston, before you reach Texas’ most remarkable stretch of nothing, there’s a crumbling Latin diner I take my kid brother on Fridays. It is refreshingly un-Yelpable. The family’s owned it forever. They’re almost native in their darkness, and when I order two beers, they’ve pitched us

Literary Enemies: Junot Díaz vs. Meg Wolitzer

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Literary Enemies: Meg Wolitzer and Junot Díaz Disclaimer: I refuse to believe that Meg Wolitzer and Junot Díaz aren’t friends. I’m going to try my best to keep this from getting all Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and I promise I’m not going to make When

The Family You Choose

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The Family You Choose In college my housemates and I once drew a social map of our class. This is similar. A web, not a tree. I’ve always been prone to intense friendships. Not best friendships, necessarily, or not in the one-and-only sense. I’m of the Mindy Kaling school

The Millennial-Gen X Rift Part II: the MFA System And A Digital Latina/o Literary Renaissance

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Hector Tobar wouldn’t be the first to speculate about a contemporary Latina/o literary renaissance. That hype has been around for a long, long while. It surrounded the work of Gen X Latina/o writers beginning to publish in the mid to late 90’s and early 2000’s of which Junot Diaz