Lit Bit: The Novel Fosters Community

Pulizter-Prize winning author Junot Diaz filled the room (two, in fact, with the event televised in a second room due to the enormous crowd) at the 2009 CityLit Festival.


After a reading from The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Woa, he opened the floor to questions.  During the session, he was asked whether he was intentionally trying to confuse people who “didn’t get” science fiction references or know Spanish.


His answer was interesting. 


Diaz explained that the intent of a novel is to foster community.  He said that he imagined a situation in which a fan boy on a bus would reach out to an old Dominican grandmother and ask what something meant, or vice versa. 


Although the creation of a novel is a solitary thing, it is designed to encourage community – the gathering together of people to discuss the novel and what is in it.


Just an interesting thought to come out of the brief, wondrous session of Junot Diaz at this year’s CityLit Festival!  (The image of the fan boy and Dominican woman having a conversation they normally would have is a scene worthy of a Diaz novel itself.)


Learn more about Junot Diaz at






Eric D. Goodman, Weekly Lit Bit


Eric’s column, Lit Bit, is published every week at and at  Featuring bits on writing, writers, books, and literature, and literary events, Lit Bit will fulfill your literary longings.


Eric is a full-time writer and editor.  Eric and his work have been featured in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Review, Writers Weekly, The Arabesques Review, The Potomac, The Baltimore Messenger, The Twoson Times, JMWW, Freshly Squeezed, Scribble, Slow Trains, New Lines from the Old Line State: An Anthology of Maryland Writers, On Stage Magazine, Whatever, Coloquio, To Be Read Aloud, Neck of My Guitar, and Travel Insights.


Learn about Eric’s new childrens’ book, Flightless Goose, at the online pond.


Listen to Eric read an excerpt from his fiction on National Public Radio on the WYPR website.


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I'm a focused, hard-working writer and editor who enjoys spending time with friends, family, writers, and books.

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