Novelist Junot Diaz has decided to reveal, via nonfiction writing, childhood trauma that he has previously channeled through characters, fiction, imagination.
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES — In an important moment for those who closely follow the writings and career of Junot Diaz, the author has made public his experience of and struggle with childhood sexual trauma. The piece is ostensibly addressed to an unnamed reader he met during a book-signing at Amherst, who noticed a pattern in his characters — in his short stories as well as the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao — and asked if he had had the experience himself. His deflection, then, and the image of the reader’s disappointment in the non-acknowledgement did not leave Diaz. And after subsequent years of struggle and self-reflection he writes to both that reader — and to a wider public — an admission in The New Yorker that becomes an important, honest, courageous and heart-wrenching read: about the rape, his battle with its ramifications, and the light he’s finally able to see, in glimpses.