Junot Diaz - as impactful when he speaks as when he writes


Junot Diaz, author of the highly acclaimed Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and the recently released This is How You Lose Her, is amazingly eloquent as a speaker. He carries over his intelligence, charm, wit, humor, empathy and insight from the page to the interview set quite seamlessly.

I have watched a handful of really interesting interviews with Diaz discussing his experiences as a writer, an academic, a cultural critic and all the various roles he has taken on in his life. A common thread between all of the clips is his ability to construct a thought with precision and insight that is emblematic of a highly matured thought process. He hardly fails, even in sentences that seem to be off-the-cuff or filler, to convey a cogent and considered thought. After spending a year surrounded by mainstream political rhetoric, which even at its finest can be less than evocative and often repeats familiar patterns, I am perhaps more impressed than an average viewer with Diaz's oratory. It also doesn't hurt that I've devoured his writing in the last few years and thought highly of him as a cultural icon for hyphenated-Americans.

None the less, I hope to learn from him. Learn to speak as deeply as I think. Maybe I should start by thinking deeply first.