Cultura y conciencia

Those Kind Words Michiko Kakutani Said About Junot

Nelson SantanaComment


August 7, 2017 

Junot Diaz speaking at Bronx Community College. September 20, 2010. 

Junot Diaz speaking at Bronx Community College. September 20, 2010. 

Michiko Kakutani, one of the most influential literary critics of the New York Times, recently stepped down after 38 years at the “paper of record”. Hated by many (mainly egocentric authors of the white male persuasion),Kakutani’s pen (or sword, depending on who you ask), while not always on point, contributed to highlight the work of new, innovative, emerging writers of color who found a sympathetic ear (and eye) at the desk of the renowned Asian-American critic. One of those writers of color who received praised from Kakutani was Junot Díaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Dominican descent. While some might remember her as a harsh critic, we prefer to remember her as a generous and witty book reviewer; a sharp observer of literary trends who didn’t mince her words at the sight of a formulaic book. The proof of her generosity is here for all to see: in those kind (and witty) words she said about Junot’s work:

On the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao:

“It is funny, street-smart and keenly observed, and it unfolds from a comic portrait of a second-generation Dominican geek into a harrowing meditation on public and private history and the burdens of familial history.”

“An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose”

On This Is How You Lose Her:

“This Is How You Lose Her,” is a miniaturist performance — a modest, musically structured riff that works variations on one main subject: a young Dominican man’s womanizing and its emotional fallout.” 

Related articles:

The Importance of Being Junot

Junot Diaz Visits Bronx Community College