“Readers,” Junot Diaz said, “are just happy to see you.”

October 5, 2012, by

Last Monday, over a thousand of us were. We’d come to Wortham Center to see him open the 32nd year of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Diaz—whose 2008 trip was nixed by Hurricane Ike—took the stage wearing dark jeans and running shoes. (Those of us who by now have read his latest collection, This is How You Lose Her, might be forgiven the desire to conflate these running shoes with Yunior’s, he of the depression-abating miles logged along the Charles River and the ruinous plantar fasciitis.)

Diaz shaded his eyes and looked into the crowd. He’d given readings, he said, at which the only people were his best friend and the guy’s fiancee, who would dump him later that night. After thanking us for coming and thanking Inprint for, as he said, “just existing,” then playfully cursing his favorite bookstore—“Damn you, Brazos,” he said. “I spent $300 there today”—Diaz read two short sections from This is How You Lose Her. Continue reading