Díaz on his new short story collection “This Is How You Lose Her”:
I needed a framework to start out. I had this idea of writing a book of collected stories about the rise and fall of a cheater. What drove me nuts was getting this whole thing from beginning to end pieced together. It’s like building a building. I won’t say it’s like building a cathedral, but it’s sort of like building a barn. You want to get it working and you want to get everything fitted nicely,” he says. “What drove me bananas was searching for, wrestling with the missing beams. Had it been a novel, I think it would have been a very different book, and one day I will write a novel about the rise and fall of a cheater, but I wanted to do this as a kind of fragmentary whole.
I also loved this bit about writing unique, memorable prose:
Thermodynamics has these neat, tidy little laws that hold true, and evolution has all these great little principles that hold true. The one principle that we have in literature and art is that the universal arises from the particular. It’s the actual thumbprint uniqueness, it’s the granular idiosyncratic, one-of-a-kindness of a work of art that gives it power across time, across space, across language, that allows it to clear that most terrible of all barriers, the barrier that separates one soul from another. We’re still reading Shakespeare because Shakespeare was so incredibly particular… . Hamlet rings across the ages because Hamlet is a f__king Dane, not in spite of it.