2010
11.21

Hard to choose.

As evidenced by my last post, I really enjoyed Diaz’s work in Drown, so choosing a favorite story is proving to be a difficult task for me.  However, in response to our discussion on How to Date…, I have decided that it ismy least favorite story of this collection, though it’s important to note that my least favorite Junot Diaz story is much better than most of the reading I’m assigned throughout a typical semester.  I recognize and respect the shift in style that Diaz employs in How to Date…, and I feel that it is in many ways very effective, and judging by the reaction of our class, very appealing to many readers.  But, when compared the other stories in Drown, I feel it is really lacking in what I love about Diaz’s writing.  The captivating prose, the vivd and often unsettling imagery, and intimate character relationships of  stories like Edison, New Jersey, Drown, and Aguantando is exemplary of what is great about Diaz.  In reading these stories I feel the rumble of emotion stirring in my gut and the creeping anxiety brought upon by the character’s struggles.  How to Date… is an entirely different type of narrative, an attempt by Diaz to place his reader at the center of his writing, however what he may not realize is that he does a finer job of this with the prose style that introduced him to the world.

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  1. While reading your entry I realized that I completely agree with your
    take on why How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie
    is your least favorite story. My personal favorites were Aurora and Aguantando because of the both simple but rich details he puts in describing his life. How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie although is a funny story it doesn’t capture Diaz’s style and the type of writer he truly is.

  2. I can see how you could not like the change in style that Diaz takes in “how to date…” , but it is a great story. Like discussed in class it is like an instruction manual. But what I particularly loved was him admitting some of the things that me and my friends think. It may be hard to understand because of different cultures and ethnicity. So although it was different it touched me in a different way than other stories because I can relate. Great post.

  3. I Like that even though the whole class loved the story you stuck with your opinion, and disliked the story.

  4. I think you’re right in saying that Diaz’s prose does a better job of really flushing out characters and of creating really memorable narratives, but that isn’t the point of “How to Date a Browngirl…” The conversational tone he employs in this section is meant to draw the reader in and keep them fixated, much like one would if their friend were sitting in front of them telling them a story. Then, he sneaks up on the reader by making hardly noticeable remarks which deepen one’s understanding of his character, such as those about his not liking his Afro or nose or of hiding the government cheese. All of these revelations come about organically, without requiring much investigative work from the reader, which I truly respect.