September 03, 2007

Junot Diaz Is Red Hot

The book debuts tomorrow Thursday, so pick up your copy. I like how the Village Voice (kinda) stole the title I used for an earlier WAO post for this review:

The Ghetto Nerd
A decade after his breakout Drown, Junot Díaz returns with his first novel by James Hannaham

Ten years ago, Junot Díaz dropped Drown — a short story collection, remember, those things that don't sell? — and he's still famous. Son-of-a-bitch is like Sade or something, can go missing for half his career and then show up again with a hit. What was so remarkable about this guy that he could keep the literary world on tenterhooks for that long? Well, in addition to the ridiculous accolades Drown received, Díaz exploded out of the Dominican Republic, which is not known for its literary prowess — not the way Trinidad served up Derek Walcott and a bevy of Naipauls, nor even the way Martinique busted out with Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire. Sorry to all you devotees of Salomé Ureña, but it's Díaz in the lead, with Julia AlvarezIn the Time of the Butterflies running a distant second. The DR has baseball by the cojones, but literature? No way, José Reyes.

Bonus Fall Title: Wind FollowerWind Follower by Carole McDonnell by Carole McDonnell

Book Description

Although it is not entirely to her liking, grief-stricken Satha, a dark-skinned woman from a poor Theseni clan weds young Loic, the wealthy Doreni son of the king's First Captain. Loic, graced with ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, begins to help Satha overcome her sorrows. Despite coming from different tribes, they begin to forge a life together. But when Satha's own compassion is used against her and a treacherous enemy contrives to dishonor her in Loic's absence, Loic's love turns to anger and disgust. Embittered, Loic must still avenge his honor and Satha's and he sets out on a journey that brings despair as well as spiritual discovery. Battling him are the Arkhai, the spirits of the land who know his quest will lead him toward the God whom they have usurped. After his departure, Satha is kidnapped, sold into slavery and learns, first hand, how cruel the pioneering Angleni tribe can be. Both face great hardship, danger and anguish apart, but with the Creator's aid there remains hope they will be reunited and heal the love the world has torn asunder.

Posted by ronn at September 3, 2007 11:25 PM

Check out an exclusive interview with Junot Diaz about his life before becoming a successful writer in Slice, a new literary magazine, which is available now. Posted by: Celia [TypeKey Profile Page] on September 23, 2007 11:26 AM
Celia: thanks for the heads-up and I can't believe that I didn't post about Slice magazine yet. I wish you and the staff all the best and will be picking up a copy very soon (I hope!) Posted by: ronn [TypeKey Profile Page] on September 23, 2007 03:55 PM
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