Video: Junot Diaz on Late Night With Seth Myers talking about #diversebooks

drown-1steditionppbkOne thing you might not know about me: Junot Diaz is my absolute favorite writer in the world. He’s a literary rock star. My idol. Sigh.

I love his books of short stories Drown and This is How You Lose Her. (Photo, left: my first edition paperback copy of Drown.) He has a thing for writing in the second person, which I love. I see it as a way of disconnecting from difficult emotions–which of course indicates how difficult it is to speak of those very difficult emotions.

Last night, Junot Diaz was interviewed on Late Night With Seth Meyers. Around the 2:30 mark in the video, he talks about teaching Creative Writing at MIT and the importance of both teaching work by diverse authors and finding diversity in books by white authors.

On the importance of teaching books by diverse authors:

      “If you don’t want to deal and relate and think about what it means to be a woman on this planet, you’re going to have serious problems. You look at this country and you look at this world and you need to understand it in complex ways, and part of that complexity is of course questions of gender… the same with dealing with the question of ethnicity and race.”

On the importance of finding diversity in books by white authors:

      His students might think that Dracula is the whitest book ever, but “all the British people in Dracula look at Dracula as the racial other, as a completely separate alien race.” It reminds them that “our world hasn’t ever been ever simpler, that there’s always been these questions.” And that’s good for kids to know.


5 thoughts on “Video: Junot Diaz on Late Night With Seth Myers talking about #diversebooks

  1. I also love Juno Diaz, his writing and of course his commentary on gender. One of my friends actually has a signed copy of Drown and he wrote a note to her about listening to the Sisters of Mercy, because apparently they are both huge fans of that band. Anyway, I need to finish reading This is How You Lose Her. I think I stopped reading it, because it was so emotionally dark. His male characters are so dark, but I think that he really taps into something toxic and kind of empty about hegemonic masculinity in our society.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is How You Lose Her was harder for me to read than Drown. I was so excited when it came out because he hadn’t published in a book in awhile. I had to stop in the middle of it too, for a little bit, before I continued. The only interaction I’ve had with him is on his FB page. I wrote a comment to him personally about how much his work means to me, he replied with a little note, and I took a screen shot of it. I’m not an academic, so I feel like I don’t have the vocabulary to analyze his work the way it calls for.

      I was so obsessed when This is How You Lose Her came out. I read interviews and articles and watched videos, because I love hearing him speak and doubt I’ll ever get to meet him in person. Though, I had my chance when he was in my area to promote the book. I just had such an imagination about him and had too much anxiety about going out there that I was pretty sure I would say something stupid. And maybe I didn’t want to be disappointed. The whole thing was kind of painful for me, the book, my depression, my conflict. This is so TMI, but I’m at this weird place in my life where I feel like I have so many secrets. It’s exhausting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry that you’ve been going through a conflict and having depression. I struggle with depression too. It’s a very difficult issue to deal with. I feel like blogging really helps me to cope with it and just the community and reading other people’s blogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My actual diagnosis is Bipolar I Disorder — and Borderline — which I read on your blog is something we have in common. I recently went back to therapy, because man, these romance novels can be triggering sometimes, I thought I was okay, but apparently so not… And I need to know why and how to get over this. I’ve also started blogging about my mental health again at – You’re welcome to visit, if it’s not triggering.


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