Sometimes literary readings feel like concerts for the deaf or art shows for the blind—feeble attempts to apologize for the nature of the activity itself. Reading is, after all, a solitary pursuit. On the other hand, when a book really moves us, we want to see the flesh that made it, find the person who wrote it, and hear those words made air and sound. Junot DÃaz is that kind of writer, as his jam-packed appearance at the City Lit Festival in 2009 demonstrated. His books Drown, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and his recent collection of stories, This Is How You Lose Her, are already classics. He blends the immigrant, the hipster, and the nerd so well that his voice is inimitably fun—though a whole generation is probably overly influenced by him—even when he is writing about the consequences of infidelity. (Baynard Woods)
Baltimore City Paper, 501 N. Calvert Street, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore, MD 21278
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