WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Junot Diaz: "This Is How You Lose Her"

Junot Diaz's most recent collection of stories, "This is How You Lose Her," comes five years after his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and fans and critics say it's worth the wait. The stories center on Yunior, a character familiar to fans who struggles to define what it means to be a man in a deeply macho culture. We talk with Diaz about his latest exploration of Dominican-American identity, his recent MacArthur "genius" grant and the renaissance of the short story.

Video: Inside The Studio

Author Junot Diaz debunked the idea of a "racial paradise" and compared American perceptions of race with Dominican perceptions, explaining that even baseball star Sammy Sosa experienced racial discrimination while at home in the Dominican Republic. "It's important for us to understand that the world is a complicated thing but that forces like racism and sexism really are pervasive," Diaz said. "They're stronger than we give them credit for. And even in places we don't think they exist, if you scratch a little bit, if you dig underneath you begin to see their cold hard calculus."

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Junot Diaz speaks at the 2009 National Book Festival:

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Exploring Life's Incurable Soiledness With The Father Of Italian Noir

A crackling new translation of Giorgio Scerbanenco's crime novel Private Venus has just been released. Critic John Powers read it in a single sitting.
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Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.
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Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make the Bible the state's official book, but critics say it is unconstitutional and would open Louisiana up to legal challenges.
WAMU 88.5

Capital Bikeshare Supplier Bought, Reopening Door To Expansion

Bixi, the company that supplies bicycles and bike stations to the Capital Bikeshare program, has been rescued from bankruptcy. But does that mean the bike sharing will resume expansion in our area?

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