The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

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Penguin, 2007 - Fiction - 339 pages
229 Reviews

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.


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Wonderful smart writing! - LibraryThing
It definitely moved at an awesome pace. - LibraryThing
Insight into the horrors of the country's history. - LibraryThing
I enjoyed the imagery and symbolism. - LibraryThing
The ending of this novel was INTENSE. - LibraryThing
I loved the writing, it had a fun, contemporary feel. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AThurman - LibraryThing

This novel has an energetic distinctive voice that propels you through both interesting characters such as Oscar Wao and his sister and the narrator and less compelling characters such as some of ... Read full review

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User Review  - yougotamber - LibraryThing

This was a hard book to get into but once I fell for the characters and writing... I loved it. Get ready to be immersed into a world that brings Spanglish culture to life. The geek references made this book fun and easy to fall in love with. Read full review

All 12 reviews »


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Section 14
Section 15
Section 16

Section 9

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About the author (2007)

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.

Bibliographic information