Last year, Dominican author Junot Díaz surprised some of his readers when he announced that after six years, he would be publishing a new work: a children’s book. Islandborn is written from the perspective of Lola, a young Afro-Dominican girl who lives in the New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights. The book follows Lola as she asks her family and neighbors to describe the island for her, learning through their memories about its beauty, but also about “the monster” who once terrorized it.

Maria Hinojosa sits down with the Pulitzer Prize-winning author to discuss his process in writing Islandborn, and the politics of innocence in children’s books.

Featured image of Junot Díaz by Nina Subin

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