Earlier this week while listening to Around Noon on WCPN they were featuring their Summer Book Call-In Show and promoting the fact that Junot Díaz is coming to Cleveland in September! Admittedly, I rarely get excited about a writer coming to town to read unless it is someone like Dave Eggers or Chuck Klosterman (well, in my defense, a lot of authors I like are either dead or in hiding).
Anyhow, I'm especially anticipating Junot's Cleveland appearance because I am completely enthralled with his book, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao -- if you have not read it yet, you are definitely missing out. His book is one of the most amazing and unique pieces of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Never have I read a book that blends urban culture, with politics, nerd culture and Caribbean culture all at once -- the way he is able to weave all this together is unreal with such a powerful use of languages.
While reading The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao last year I just could not put it down. Apparently I'm not alone -- a lot of other people think this is a great book too, he just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and several other national book awards. It is an award that is bringing him to town, along with Moshin Hamid who won the "Anisfield-Wolf Book Award" for 2008. In my ignorance I did not know the Cleveland Foundation had a book award, let alone a national one.
Just by chance, while doing a Google search I stumbled upon this excellent interview below that Junot Díaz did as part of the Authors@Google series from September of last year:
Bonus: Here Junot is reading out loud a short story for The New Yorker called How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie) from his first novel Drown.