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Junot Díaz: “Orson Scott Card is a cretinous fool”

My first encounter with Junot Díaz was brief and wondrous. I was grabbing lunch at a hole in the wall in the East Village with a few classmates when I spotted him hunched over a falafel. Like the rest of the country, I had been dazzled by his Pulitzer-winning "Oscar Wao" -- its eponymous character but especially its narrator, Yunior, Díaz's literary döppelganger -- and so despite myself, I hazarded an "Excuse me, are you Junot?"

That was all it took.

"What's going on, young people!?" His exuberance was so infectious I could barely stifle a reply of "falafels, yo!" (I resisted, mercifully). Before my friends realized what was happening, he was peppering us with questions about where we were from, what we were studying, what we wanted to do. He was a dude, and he was cool -- far cooler than he had any reason to be with a group of strangers in a shawarma dive on a frigid winter afternoon. Mostly he sounded exactly like the effervescent narrator of his fiction, Yunior made flesh.

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