Why Hernan Diaz hopes his writings will continue to be rejected


Hernan Diaz is the guest. His new book, Trustis now out of Riverhead.

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From the episode:

Hernan Diaz: It’s much more fun not to be rejected. And also, you start to feel a little crazy when you’re rejected for years and years and years, because you keep going despite the world telling you to stop.

Brad Listi: I know that feeling. You wonder about your sanity. Come on, am I crazy for spending years of my life doing this? And then having someone say yes is such a relief.

Hernan Diaz: It is a relief. It’s a relief because you feel slightly crazy or very crazy. To this day, I sometimes send stories and they always get rejected. This time by my agent, which is much nicer. But I think it’s a good thing that there are still stories that get rejected. Maybe they just get rejected because they suck. This is most likely the reason.

But it could also be that they stand in the way of something and hopefully feel weird and inadequate in a way that I hope to keep alive as a writer. Not writing what is expected and streamlined to go straight to print. I hope to still be rejected to some degree in the future, because it means I’m trying to do something new. And that’s something that I try to keep alive for me.


Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award, Hernan DiazThe work of has been translated into more than twenty languages. He has published stories and essays in The Paris Review, Granta, Playboy, The Yale Review, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. Her first novel, in the distance, has been the recipient of the Saroyan International Prize, the Cabell Award, the Page America Award, and the New American Voices Award, among other accolades. It was also a Weekly editors Top 10 books of the year and one of Illuminated HubThe 20 best novels of the decade. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and fellowships from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, MacDowell, Yaddo, and the Ingmar Bergman Estate. He has a Ph.D. from NYU, edits an academic journal at Columbia University, and is also the author of Borges, between History and Eternity.


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