American-Dominican novelist Junot Díaz took to Rap Genius on Thursday to explain one of the footnotes in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. This may come as a surprise to no one, but it turns out that Díaz is kind of a huge nerd. He reveals that Dungeons and Dragons, Planet of the Apes, and The Wrath of Khan all influenced his writing process.
Oscar Wao follows the life of young Dominican immigrant Oscar de León, a kid who's obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels. Díaz chose to annotate a footnote in the novel describing "Outer Azua," which is the outskirts of the Azua province in the Dominican Republic. In the footnote, he compares the area to the Star Wars planet Tatooine, which he explains in an annotation:
Díaz makes 21 annotations to the footnote in all — worth taking a look at if you're a fan of the novel. He's not the first author to do this, either. Since Rap Genius rolled out its "Verified Authors" feature in January, writers like Adam Mansbach and Joshua Mehigan have also annotated parts of their work.
And of course, you can still use Rap Genius to find out what Yeezy really meant when he rapped "hurry up with my damn croissants." The field's just a bit more diversified now.