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
This is the long-awaited first novel from one of the most original and memorable writers working today.
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the FukOE-the curse that has haunted the Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.
D'az immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" confirms Junot Diaz as one of the best and most exciting voices of our time.
About the Author
Junot Diaz s fiction has appeared in "The New Yorker," "The Paris Review," and "The Best American Short Stories." His highly-anticipated first novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," was greeted with rapturous reviews, including Michiko Kakutani in "The New York Times" calling it a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices. His debut story collection, "Drown," published eleven years prior to "Oscar Wao," was also met with unprecedented acclaim; it became a national bestseller, won numerous awards, and has since grown into a landmark of contemporary literature. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey, Diaz lives in New York City and is a professor of creative writing at MIT."