One of my favorite authors of late is Junot Diaz, the first book of his I read was ‘The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ which brought me into his world of beautiful prose and imaginative story telling. The second book of his I read was ‘This is how you lose her’ which changed the way I understood what short fiction could be. Junot Diaz tells a series of short stories that follows the world wind love affairs of the protagonist Yunior. They are all gorgeous short stories chalked with drop dead brilliant prose.
Junot Díaz (born December 31, 1968) is a Dominican American writer, creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz’s work is the immigrant experience. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, in 2008. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.
I have watched almost all of his interviews and podcasts where he talks about his writing process, and how he develops characters, he is truly a brilliant writer.
One of the trends I have been noticing lately are spoken word artist being invited to writers festivals and being lauded as a “writer” in the same regards as someone like Junot Diaz. This is a positive step in the right direction and honestly reconition that is long overdue
Watch the video below from a Google talk where he talks about the book. The video is hella long but it is a good talk, the biggest thing that I have taken from this book is how it does not conform, it is bold and brash and disregards many tenants of how prose should look. In many ways it is a book full of slam poems there are many parallels with how we as performance poets approach the subjects we tackle and Junot’s work.
I can easily see many poets I know being a NY times best seller by taking a character they already created in a persona poem and completely fleshing it out to a book similar to This Is How You Lose Her.
Watch the video, and if you have a chance read the book, you can thank me later!