In mid-September, Junot Díaz came to speak at Google; the 42-minute video is now available online.
I seem to be running into Díaz everywhere these days. In the first half of September, roughly every other post in my Facebook stream was a link to something Díaz-related; then he showed up to give this talk; then he got a MacArthur grant and was all over my FB stream again; then for about three days in a row, every time I turned on the radio, a Fresh Air interview with him was airing.
I haven't actually read anything of his yet, though I did pick up a copy of his new short-story collection This Is How You Lose Her, which he reads from for about five minutes of this video. But yeah, all my friends are right that he says all sorts of smart and interesting stuff—the rest of the video is Agony Column editor Rick Kleffel interviewing Díaz, plus Q&A from the audience.
Anyone know whether Díaz knows about the Carl Brandon Society? It seems likely to be relevant to his interests, but I haven't heard him bring it up, even in contexts where it seems very relevant.