Junot Diaz, Straight Up

Newsweek has a nice online-only Q&A with Junot Diaz. (Though that subhead needs fixing: He won the National Book Critics Circle award, not the National Book Award.) (Update 4/5: It’s been fixed.)

Do you get frustrated by always being identified as a “Dominican” writer or a “Latino” writer, and never just as a straight-up “writer”?
No, because there’s no such thing as a straight-up writer. I think when people say a straight-up writer, what they really mean is a white writer. In other words, historically there has never been this concept of a nonracialized, nongendered writer. The fact that the word “writer” has to be modified so often is because everybody knows that when people speak of writers, we tend to mean, on an unconscious level, white males.

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