For this week's C.O.R.A. Diversity Roll Call, let's travel around the world together! Choose a country or region and tell us a little bit about it, including, of course, an author or two who hail from there.
My inspiration for this idea: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Dominican-born author Junot Diaz. I started reading this book months ago and couldn't get into it, but I keep hearing how great it is so I decided to try it on audio to kick off the Read-a-Thon tomorrow morning. Hoping to start the Read-a-Thon with new material, I've been listening to get to the point where I left off (about fifty pages in), and last night it struck me why I couldn't get into the book: without knowing the history of the Dominican Republic, much of the introductory narrative was confusing to me. I couldn't even picture the characters. Diaz himself is fairly light-skinned and so I was picturing Oscar looking like him, but then the narrator keeps calling him the n-word (in a friendly way, as in, "Dude"), which mystified me. My husband pointed out that my favorite Chicago Cub, Sammy Sosa, is Dominican and rather dark. Maybe Oscar looks like him, only fatter.
So, for this week's Roll Call I'm going to do my homework on the Dominican Republic and share it with you between now and next Friday. I hope you'll do the same, with a part of the world or foreign-born author that intrigues you!