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Arts and Entertainment

Junot Díaz Reading at the Hammer Museum on Monday

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I'm actually a little hesitant to tell you about Junot Díaz's reading, scheduled for Monday, March 17th at the Hammer Museum -- I mean, yeah, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" was one of the best books of 2007, he's been nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction, and he's a fantastic speaker and reader. But then half of Los Angeles will show up to hear the Dominican-born, Jersey-raised professor of creative writing (he's got a nice gig at MIT, of all places), and I'll be the jerk in the corner who can't find a seat

Also, if I tell those of you who haven't yet picked up this magical book to drop everything you've got going on this weekend and read it immediately (here's the review we posted), I just know you'll show up at the reading bursting with questions, and I'll be the jerk in the corner who can't get up the courage to ask him any myself.

But you know what? I'm gonna take that chance. I'm going to tell you to do all of those things, because it would be a crime to miss out on one of the literary world's freshest, funniest, and most relevant voices. I will see you there. From my corner.

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For a preview of what Monday night might sound like, check out the video below from one of Diaz's readings at Google Headquarters. He has some extremely interesting things to say about contemporary literature, academia, and his own experiences growing up as a Dominican immigrant. And here's an excerpt from the novel published in The New Yorker in 2000.

AP Photo/Jim McKnight