September 2008 Indie Next List
“Literary deejay Diaz spins magical realism, anime, Tolkien, and minority-literature-as-ethnography into a remix of the immigrant's tale from the hands of a master. This is the smartest, funniest, and sharpest novel of the year and confirms his virtuosic ability to communicate Dominican-American experience with vibrancy and honesty.”
— LaTissia Mitchell, Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, MI
Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fuku a curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere and risk it all in the name of love.
About the Author
Pulitzer Prize winner JUNOT DIAZ's first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year by Time magazine and spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself with more than a million copies in print as a modern classic. In addition to the Pulitzer, Diaz has won a host of major awards and prizes, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/O. Henry Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award.
“Funny, street-smart and keenly observed…An extraordinarily vibrant book that’s fueled by adrenaline-powered prose.”—Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barnburning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness.”—Sam Anderson, New York Magazine
“Genius...a story of the American experience that is giddily glorious and hauntingly horrific...That Díaz’s novel is also full of ideas, that [the narrator’s] brilliant talking rivals the monologues of Roth’s Zuckerman—in short, that what he has produced is a kick-ass (and truly, that is the just word for it) work of modern fiction—all make The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao something exceedingly rare: a book in which a new America can recognize itself, but so can everyone else.”—Oscar Villalon, San Francisco Chronicle
“Astoundingly great.”—Lev Grossman, Time
“Terrific...High-energy...It is a joy to read, and every bit as exhilarating to reread.”—Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly