Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Jaquira Díaz

Jaquira Díaz is the author of Ordinary Girls, a memoir, and I Am Deliberate, a novel.

From the transcript of her interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep:

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: The writer Jaquira Diaz has a story about escaping the disasters of her own family. Born in Puerto Rico, she spent her early years in a public housing project. Her mom worked all the time, and her dad...

JAQUIRA DIAZ: My father was a drug dealer.

MARTIN: As a child, she would see him counting out the wadded dollar bills he had earned in that deadly trade. Later he moved the family to Miami and found work that was lawful. But Jaquira Diaz says her mother was temperamental, violent and finally diagnosed as schizophrenic. The writer describes their life in a memoir titled "Ordinary Girls." She talked with Steve Inskeep.

STEVE INSKEEP, BYLINE: How did you understand what was going on around you?

DIAZ: At first, I didn't really. I thought everyone lived like this because there were so many other families in el caserio that were dealing with similar things. It wasn't until I was a grown woman looking back at these things and realized how much violence made its way into our everyday lives, into our childhood games, how much we thought that was normal.

INSKEEP: What kinds of violence were there in your home or around your home?

DIAZ: There was a lot of drug-dealing. There were fights. There were raids. The cops would...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue