Spoiled Children of Divorce


Exemplary Children of Divorce – Junot Diaz

Junot Diaz is an MIT professor and Pulitizer Prize Winner and Child of D. I’ve passed by his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao often in the library and in bookstores, but I didn’t know until I heard an NPR show this morning (Nov. 27 or 28, 2008? sorry I’m publishing this a few weeks behind) that Junot Diaz writes variations on memoir about his childhood which includes long separations from his Father.  Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic.  His Father went to America early in his life and so was absent for much of Diaz’s childhood.  Later on the family joined the Father in New Jersey but his Father left them at that point.  This happened in 1979 when Diaz would have been around 11 years old.  In the NPR Interview Diaz says that he writes from the point of view of growing up as a poor immigrant but he also describes life with an erratic Father presence.  I haven’t read his writings but it sounds like he does touch a bit on the subject of separation.  Mostly he seems to speak from the point of view of immigration — there’s a bigger audience for this, a complaint that America is proud of rather than interested in sweeping under the rug, ah hem…

Divorce among Immigrants is certainly an interesting topic.  Although I have no personal experience in this area, I’ve heard a couple of times that Immigrant families will stick together out of necessity because of moving to a strange place.  If that tends to be true a separation connected with a move to a foreign land would make for an extra complicated childhood.

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