Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Melissa Katsoulis reviews Junot Díaz' The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Junot Díaz is the youngish, Dominican-born American writer whose first collection of stories dazzled critics on both sides of the Atlantic. This, his debut novel, promotes itself as 'an immigrant-family saga for people who don't read immigrant-family sagas'. It is that, and much more (although readers unaccustomed to being addressed as 'Nigger' may need a while to acclimatise).

Junoz Diaz tells the story of a Dominican American boy who is lured back to the island
A Dominican American boy is lured back to the island

It tells the story of a fat, sci-fi-obsessed Dominican-American boy (known as Oscar Wao due to the Wildean size of his girth, his writing habit and his supply of snooty aphorisms) who lives in a poor New Jersey suburb with his older sister and frazzled mother and spends his days watching less wrong-looking teens live their lives while he plans his masterwork - a Lord of the Rings-style epic that might just be the best book in the world.
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