Wednesday, April 16, 2008

199 Wednesday

Inhale long and deep and you just might be able to smell the stagnation of this blog.

So, in an effort scent the place with the wonderful smells of productivity - and actually write - I've decided to roll out another meme - 199 Wednesday.

I can't be more pleased Junot Diaz won the fiction Pulitzer Prize for his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but it was Diaz's Drown that greatly influenced my current style of writing.

When I first came across Drown, I didn't know much about my writer-self. I had been an impatient writer then. Naive, as well. Back then, writing was banging out 750 words, sending them off to some literary magazine, and having editors praise me for my intelligence.

Ten years later, I'm still impatient, I'm still naive, and I'm still waiting for editors to praise me. But I also know that a collection of loosely-related short stories narrated by young boys of color growing up in urban America can be told - and wants to be read.

Back then, I didn't know that. Back then, I needed something -or someone- to help me combat the uncertainty and self-doubt.




Wayne said...

Completely agree. Diaz's reading of "How to date a black girl, brown girl, white girl, or halfie" from the New Yorker blew my hair back in its simplicity and honesty. Drown had so many amazing lines, but nothing quite compared to the line in Oscar Wao about the doctor, in prison, waking to the feel of his lips being tickled by a dried turd. I wasn't alive when Kennedy was shot, but I can tell you where I was and where I was going when I listened to that line (on the audio CD). Diaz's writing deserves even more attention, and I hope he gives us something else and soon. I don't want to wait another 11 yrs. Congratulations, Junot.

six blocks east of mars said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
six blocks east of mars said...

Thanks for the comments, Wayne. "How to date a black girl, brown girl, white girl or halfie" is one of my favorite of his stories. It's one of those stories I wish I had written. Though, I'm embarrassed to admit - I don't have Oscar Wao, yet. I've been waiting for years for him to come out with this novel, and then I take forever to buy it. I know what I'm getting this weekend.

Kahnee said...

I am going to add him to my "to read" list. I've never heard of him before but that's not surprising. I have a lot of reading to do.

six blocks east of mars said...

I definitely think you'll enjoy Junot Diaz and Drown, kahnee. Even though he's Dominican, his stories seem to transcend his experiences and background, and resonates with so many different people.