Junot Díaz Is Still Fucking With Us

But maybe not as much as he used to.

In his new story “Miss Lora,” from the forthcoming book This Is How You Lose Her, the author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is up to his usual tricks.

The unbelievable juxtaposition of spelling-bee vocabulary and raunchy slang:

Your brother. Dead from the cancer, and sometimes you still felt a fulgurating sadness over it, even though he really was a super asshole at the end.

The arbitrary references to obscure bits of pop culture:

Almost every night you had dreams that made the ones the President was having in “Dreamscape” look like pussy play.

A blend of formal writing (“Better still”) and informal speech (“monga”) that doesn’t work as either writing or speech:

She listened. Better still, she had read “Alas, Babylon” and had seen part of “The Day After,” and both had scared her monga.

Believe it or not, these are the only such instances in the whole story. And they all occur on the first page. It’s like Díaz had to clear his through of all the stupid shit he usually pulls, and then he was able to write a decent story. So let’s give him a very patronizing round of applause and hope that This Is How You Lose Her, when it comes out, has gotten all the fulgurating assholes out of its system.

– Brian Hurley

2 Comments

Filed under Bad Fiction, Hooray Fiction!

2 Responses to Junot Díaz Is Still Fucking With Us

  1. Brian Hurley

    UPDATE: “Monstro,” the latest Junot Diaz story in the New Yorker, is pretty damn good. His outlandish creole sounds a lot better in the context of science fiction. If you can get your hands on “Monstro,” give it a shot.

  2. Brian Hurley

    This is getting ridiculous! For the third time in four months — April 23, June 4, and July 23 — a new Junot Diaz story is featured in The New Yorker’s fiction section. Apparently his publicist runs the magazine.

    http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/features/2012/07/23/120723fi_fiction_diaz

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