Episode #24: The End of Representation - Junot Diaz

Burns Maxey / NEPR

Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. His novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. Diaz is also the author of Drown and This is How You Lose Her. His most recent book is Islandborn, a children’s book about immigration.

This interview was recorded on March 2, 2018, when Diaz was at Amherst College for the annual Lit-Fest, a gathering of noted authors. On April 16, The New Yorker published Diaz’s The Silence, The Legacy of Childhood Trauma, in which he chronicles the abuse he suffered as a child and the impact that trauma had on his life and relationships. Subsequent to the publication of that article, several women have accused Diaz of inappropriate behavior and verbal abuse. After much deliberation, we decided to offer this interview which deals with the role of the minority writer in American culture and with Diaz’s physical and mental disposition in hope that it can provide some insight before the events occurred.