Posts Tagged ‘New Yorker’

I noticed in today’s Writer’s Almanac that today is the birthday of Junot Diaz. I’ve been reading his stories in The New Yorker for a long time, most recently I enjoyed the one in the science fiction issue which added a touch of fantastic suspense to the usual themes of family, relationships, the diaspora and tragic history of the DR. I learned a lot about this history when I recently listened to The Short and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  The audiobook has its pros and cons, but a distinct advantage is when wonderful accents and foreign language phrases are a part of the narrative. I’ve always loved the liberal sprinkling of (untranslated) Spanish throughout Diaz’ work, but when listening to one of his books, I almost start to feel a glimmer of fluency in the language. In addition, beneath the flippant tone, one gets a grim history lesson about the horrors of the reign of Trujillo and his followers and the scars left on the people of the DR. There is a joyous anger in Diaz as  he reveals these monsters for what they were, even as there is sadness because of the trauma that continues down the generations. Diaz has a refreshing, unique style, and his erstwhile narrator is appealing even as he reels along his path of self-destruction. Diaz refers to Yunior as his own “terrible half-brother,” and his writing seems like therapy for himself and his homeland.


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