Digression re: Junot Diaz

A response to a response: “What do we do now?” referring to Junot Diaz and other writers whose work the responder loves, but who have misogynist or downright abusive tendencies; this was asked by a self-identified “feminist” who said she didn’t want to “stop reading literature altogether,” as though there were no other writers out there besides these guys). I wrote: “Everyone has flaws, bad that goes with the good. You have to keep all these elements in mind. At the same time, talent or insight in some areas doesn’t give anyone a pass for abuse. One of the reasons Diaz’s fall from grace is such a big deal is because he was used as a token representative. Many others were ignored because the institutions had their token guy, so they didn’t look closely at the situation, nor did they care to make room for more. What’s to be DONE about him? It’s already being done. Take your eyes off him, and read the many, many other writers waiting in the wings (many of them women). He’ll have to find his own way through this shit.” Actually, though, I’m not prescribing that anyone stop reading Diaz or any other writer. Just saying: be aware of what he’s about, and more importantly, read the many others who are producing writing that’s worth reading.

See also Shreerekha Subramanian’s article, “In the Wake of His Damage.”