Advice he’d give a 12-year-old version of himself"It might sound oversimplified, but I’d say, ‘Shhh.’ It’s so funny how noisy my brain is - it’s what it does, it makes thoughts. And the problem is, I think in most of our lives the root of suffering is listening to that brain noise and actually identifying with it as if it’s who you are. That’s just the noise your brain makes. And more often than not, it probably doesn’t have much to say that’s going to help you. I’ve felt my best are the moments that I’ve been able to pull that plug and say, ‘Chris … shhh … shhh.’ And it’s not quitting, it’s not giving up, it’s not washing your hands of the thought, it’s rising above it. All the time I’ve spent suffering as a result of brain noise, hours of my life wasted. So that’s what I’d say: ‘Shhh.’"
How do you phrase this question for more ‘mainstream’ writers? ‘Do you think your whiteness and your white subject matter will limit your appeal?’ I’d love to hear the answers to that one! Call me crazy, but I happen to be one of those writers who think that the Dominican experience is a universal experience. What scares me is that the sci-fi and fantasy and fanboy content of this novel, not its dominicanidad, may narrow its appeal. People (I should put that word in quotes) visit (another quotable) the Dominican Republic because they want to experience certain kinds of packaged otherness, not because they want to hear some guy going on about the Dionysian architects in From Hell. But that’s how it is with all art: You construct an imaginary audience in your work and then you hope that its real-world analog will actually show up. Whether it occurs now or two hundred years from now is another question. I just happen to believe that folks of all cultures and colors, and grad school types and immigrants and lexics (people who love to read) and fanboys and fangirls and love-story addicts and lit heads and homeboys and homegirls and history buffs and activists and family-epic lovers and nerds can all sit in the same room together and blab usefully. In fact, I believe that all of the above were meant to sit in the same room and blab usefully to one another. I’m idealistic that way. — Junot Diaz, answering the question of whether he worries that the ethnic component of his writing might alienate non-Latin@/Dominican readers (via neverthehurricane)
“I wasn’t aware that there was a problem. Academically, Lydia’s one of the finest students I’ve ever had. And socially, she displays outstanding leadership qualities. I mean, she’s a real leader.”