Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Junot Diaz: Intimidating interview, listens to Lord Quas

I interviewed Junot Diaz today, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." Cool dude, with some very insightful answers to my sometimes meandering questions.
But man, trying to ask him questions and keep him engaged in a conversation was a taxing experience. A few minutes into the interview, I realized just how sharp the guy was when I asked a question about whether the footnotes in his book were meant as a companion oral socio-political history of the Dominican Republic, his home country.
He answered no and gave a pretty concise explanation as to why they weren't. I felt like I had asked a lame question. My bad.
Later on I asked him what hip-hop he listened to while he was writing the book, and he said he listened to a lot of Lord Quas, which is a really good sign. Or at least I think he said Lord Quas. I should probably replay the tape before I publish this. Oh well, too late
Despite that moment, the interview went well because Diaz is a very lucid and concrete orator. His answers were one-hitter-quitter punchy, deliberate and abrupt. He didn't hang on to elaborate. It was all on to the next one.
Which was nice because my interview fit right into my self-imposed time limit, and I was able to end on a reasonably high note. Interview transcript will come as soon as I get to it (I still have to punch up the Gabriel Iglesias script, which I know you are all too eager to read).

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