Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm always interested in what sparks/starts a novel or a story.

Here's what Junot Diaz told an interviewer about how The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao began:

"I was living in Mexico City... It was very late, and we were over at a friend’s house; the guy’s house who I was at turned out to—in the future—turned out to be a very famous Mexican actor. But that night we were just all hanging out and it was a bunch of Mexican bohemians and me and my Guatemalan buddy. And one of these Mexican cats just pulled a book off a shelf and just cornered me and was like, 'My favorite writer in the world.' He was telling me, 'My favorite writer in the world is Oscar Wao, I love Oscar Wao, Oscar Wao is brilliant.' And I was dying because I knew he meant Oscar Wilde. That’s where the book began. After that party I went home and I laid in bed, and I suddenly had this idea of this fore-cursed family. This idea of this awkward fat boy and this idea that this family would be cursed in love, that they would have great trouble finding love. You know it just felt like a real good kind of novella, telenovela type plot. I just thought, 'Hey, I can work with this, you know, I can really change this into something else.'"

So the mispronounciation of a name begins it all. I like that.

And speaking of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: I've been reading this book off and on for over six months. I'm really enjoying it (it's big, bold, daring, full of life and funny as hell), but my reading time is so limited. Maybe I'll be done by the end of the year. Makes me feel guilty when it takes so long to finish reading a book I really like.

No comments: