Junot Diaz’s Drown

Another re-read this week, Junot Díaz’s Drown, in honor of a writing workshop with the man himself, next week in San Francisco. Like Maud, I’m a fan of Díaz’s work, and in going through Drown again, I’m surprised at how much some stories have stayed with me since the book came out eight years ago. I remember reading “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie” in the New Yorker and, at work the next day, striking up a conversation with a nerdy rocket scientist in line at the cafeteria. (I worked for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the time.) I started telling this guy about this fantastic story, how Díaz’s use of language had opened up new doors for me, and the guy was like, hey, I’ll check it out. There aren’t many writers that trigger this reaction in me, this wanting to stop a stranger in a cafeteria. Unfortunately, new material from Díaz is hard to come by. There’s a non-fiction piece in this week’s New Yorker, for instance, but I’m not aware of any new fiction work in the last year or so.