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Missed Junot Diaz in L.A.? Try his webcast Monday from New York

December 14, 2012|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • Author Junot Diaz
Author Junot Diaz (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles…)

New York's 92nd Street Y will webcast a conversation with Junot Diaz live on Monday at 5 p.m. Pacific (8 p.m. Eastern).

Diaz was in Los Angeles in September to read from his short story collection "This Is How You Lose Her." The book has spent 10 weeks on the L.A. Times bestseller list.

The Times' Hector Tobar praised the book in his review: "Reading the stories in Díaz's new collection, 'This Is How You Lose Her,' is often a three-dimensional, laugh-out-loud experience. It's the voice that transports you: erudite, Caribbean, bilingually foul-mouthed, channeling the assorted insanities of Dominicans, New Jerseyites and English professors."

Tobar continued, "You turn the pages and you are suddenly and vividly in this alternate American reality. All sorts of loquacious Caribbean types are pontificating, mourning and loving each other. Their raging, romantic spirit is so strong, it can out-duel a disease like the Big C."

And this is Diaz himself, from the story "The Pura Principle." "Dude had lost eighty pounds to the chemo, looked like a break-dancing ghoul," Díaz writes, describing Rafa, a track suit-wearing serial seducer. "But he prided himself on being the neighborhood lunatic, and he wasn't going to let a little thing like cancer get in the way."

Diaz will be interviewed by Julie Otsuka; Otsuka won the PEN/Faulkner award for her novel "Buddha in the Attic."

The 92nd Street Y has archived parts of many of its readings online. Along with decades-old audio recordings of Nadine Gordimer, Harold Pinter and Truman Capote there are videos of Cynthia Ozik, Neil Gaiman, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, and -- in a recent appearance with Jamaica Kincaid -- Junot Diaz.


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