Speed Reads

Trump's America

Junot Diaz urges 'radical hope' for Americans disillusioned by Trump

Junot Diaz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, wrote Monday in The New Yorker about the importance of "radical hope" in the face of Donald Trump's surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election. The politically outspoken Diaz was one of 16 writers to pen an essay for the magazine's collection of musings on Trump's America, calling for those disillusioned with their president-elect to "connect courageously with the rejection, the fear, the vulnerability that Trump's victory has inflicted on us" before coming together to fight.

"For those of us who have been in the fight, the prospect of more fighting, after so cruel a setback, will seem impossible," Diaz wrote. But he urged individuals to carry on because "once the shock settles, faith and energy will return," and invoked philosopher Jonathan Lear's theory of radical hope:

"Radical hope is our best weapon against despair, even when despair seems justifiable; it makes the survival of the end of your world possible. Only radical hope could have imagined people like us into existence. And I believe that it will help us create a better, more loving future." [Junot Diaz, via The New Yorker]

The essays appear in The New Yorker's latest print issue. You can also read Diaz's full piece — alongside essays on Trump's America from Jia Tolentino, Larry Wilmore, and more — online at The New Yorker.