Junot Díaz's Drown aims to define the Latin-American hombre and the forces that create him, whether in the Dominican Republic or New Jersey. Simple relationships are examined as young men accompany their mothers to the mall, pine for their missing girlfriends, or discuss the unspoken rules between older and younger brothers.
Although Díaz has spent most of his life in the States, his text reveals a constant state of translation - between languages and cultures - often dropping Spanish slang for which there is no true English equivalent. The author juxtaposes the Third World with the Northeastern Corridor, as adolescents attempt to filter their new environment through their outmoded understanding of life as it had been, constantly comparing new experiences from one place to another. But beware: these are not sugarcoated, coming-of-age tales. Drown takes us on a tour through crack dens with lost youth and leaves us in a living room with a child as his father disappears upstairs with a mistress.
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