Tag Archives: Junot Diaz

A Conversation with Toni Morrison and Junot Diaz at the NYPL

Did anything notable happen last week? Oh nothing . . . just an event featuring two of my favorite authors held at one of the most beautiful libraries in the USA **insert feigned nonchalant shrug as I try to contain my excitement**

Talk begins approximately 50 minutes into this video.  I die of euphoria at approximately 51 minutes . . .

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Filed under The Writer's Block

What She’s Reading: “This is How You Lose Her”

“And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”

I love Junot Diaz. His prose is energetic and his voice is one of the most unique I have encountered in years. “This Is How You Lose Her” is not cut from the same award-winning cloth as his earlier novels, but Diaz shines here. His writing is a masterful mix of street style and high brow technique; his tempo ranges from fast paced to methodically analytical. Many find his language offensive but I appreciate the boldness and authenticity of his prose. This is a quick and enjoyable read that examines love – perhaps a cliched topic – with fresh perspective.

Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Filed under What We're Reading

10 Great Opening Lines in Afro-Literature

Every great writer knows the importance of the opening text. Not only is it the author’s first shot at engaging the reader, it also sets the tone for the entire novel.  A truly great incipit, as evidenced by the examples below, will also foreshadow theme, structure, plot and even conflict.

Let’s face it, a strong opening is perhaps the best indication of a strong text.  So let’s take a look at a few of the most profound within the Afro-literary genre:

“On the morning of her ninth birthday, the day after Madame Francoise Derbane slapped her, Suzette peed on the rosebushes.” – Lalita Tademy, Cane River

“You better not never tell nobody but God.” – Alice Walker, The Color Purple

“We are on our way to Budapest: Bastard and Chipo and Godknows and Sbho and Stina and me.” – NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

“A dwelling.” – Nuruddin Farah, From a Crooked Rib

“I was not sorry when my brother died.” – Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

“124 was spiteful.” – Toni Morrison, Beloved

“Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway.” – Zadie Smith, White Teeth

“Ships at a distance have every man’s wish aboard.” – Zora Neal Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

“In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.” – Ben Okri, The Famished Road

“They say it came from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles.” – Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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Filed under African Lit, Afro-American Lit, Afro-Caribbean Lit, Afro-European Lit