Junot Díaz at the United Palace

Junot_Palace_final

About a year ago, we collaborated on the launch party for the United Palace of Cultural Arts—which took the form of a multi-arts showcase throughout the ornate rooms of the third-largest theater in Manhattan.

And we’ll be at it again, this time on Friday, November 15th, 6 PM.

And, this time, we’ll be ending the night with a special guest on the main stage at 7:30 PM: Junot Díaz, in conversation with Publishers Weekly editor Calvin Reid.

Junot’s writing is something a lot of us have read, felt, sensed: besides that Washington Heights and its people live on many of Junot’s pages, it’s also clear that tons of our neighbors have read his work and carry those words close. But what happens with those words are reinterpreted in another form? What happens when another Latino artistic hero—say, comic book artist Jaime Hernandez, of the long-running series Love and Rockets, which Jaime created with his brothers*—reimagines Junot’s characters in graphic form?

We’re as excited to find out, with the release of the deluxe edition of This Is How You Lose Her, coming out this week, featuring illustrations by Jaime Hernandez. And we’ll be looking forward to seeing those images projected on the United Palace’s 50-foot screen, as Junot discusses the adaptation, representation, and much more with Calvin Reid, the senior news editor at Publishers Weekly who has championed graphic novels and comics coverage at PW and beyond.

From a recent Washington Post article, which calls this deluxe edition one of the Best Books of 2013:

“Honestly, I am over-the-moon giddy,” Diaz tells Comic Riffs this week, ahead of the Oct. 31 release of the deluxe edition. “I’ve got to tell you, I have never been the kind of person who [marvels] at his own work. I’m never over-the-top happy [about it]. I don’t even have parties … or go out for drinks with friends [when a new book of mine comes out].

“But,” continues Diaz, who began reading “Love and Rockets” in the ‘80s, “this is one publication that I’m so elated over because I’m such an enormous fan of Jaime’s. … To have someone of his caliber — I think everybody knew I was a huge fan.” . . .

“I discovered ‘Love and Rockets’ in 1987, while I was living in Jersey, during my first year of university [Rutgers],” Diaz says of the long-running comic by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez (sibling Mario sometimes contributes). “What’s sort of important to me is that Jaime and his brother Gilberto have been at the forefront of representing the U.S.-Latino and the Latino experience in a profound and human and complicated way. Back when everyone else was creating shows, these guys were talking about young, bisexual punk-rock girls from Oxnard. That’s the universe I [recognized].”

This event is brought to you by Word Up Community Bookshop, United Palace of Cultural Arts, and Riverhead Books, and takes place during PAMAR’s Latin American Cultural Week. Admission is a pay-what-you-can donation at the door to support arts interactions. See you at the Palace on November 15th!

*Side note: We’re also excited that the Hernandez Brothers have been celebrating the 30th anniversary of Love and Rockets throughout this past year!

4 responses to “Junot Díaz at the United Palace

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