Christopher Tayler is impressed by Junot Díaz’s ingenious first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. In “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” Díaz, the author of a book of sexy, diamond-sharp stories called “Drown,” shows impressive. Winner of: The Pulitzer Prize The National Book Critics Circle Award The Anisfield-Wolf Book Award The Jon Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize A Time Magazine.

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He looked straight out wondrrous a Daniel Clowes comic book. Use them all, he said, and then added: Out Stealing Horses Ann Patchett: The book is an explanation for Oscar, a Dominican-American boy who does not fit either title. A big question in Oscar’s life, and the novel, is: VanBeest argues that Oscar “succeeds in educating Yunior, indirectly, in the responsibilities of manhood; after Oscar’s death, Yunior claims that it is Oscar’s influence that encourages him to stop following the dictates of el machismo and finally settle down and get married.

Diaz has been a middleweight figure on the literary scene for eleven years, based almost exclusively on his previous and only book Drown, a collection of interconnected stories which, like The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, chronicled the Dominican immigrant experience with a startling freshness. He actually called him Frankie G. Yet it felt authentic. Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. Maybe it’s honest, but it’s not saying much about woa culture relevance.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Reader’s Guide

It takes years for him to finish a page short story. I don’t know, I haven’t figured out the system just yet.

Much like Philip Roth in American Pastoral and Thomas Mann in BuddenbrooksDiaz aims to present the full wobdrous of the rise and fall of a single family over the course of three generations. This page was last edited on 3 Decemberat Eventually, he moves to the Dominican Republic and falls helplessly in love with Ybon, a prostitute who lives near him.


Ybon’s boyfriend’s goons then find Oscar, take him back to the sugarcane fields, and kill him.

He also respects Oscar’s writing style and his ability to “write dialogue, crack snappy exposition, keep the narrative moving” More than a decade passed and no novel was published.

View all 10 comments. It is almost one, and I will even say that it is way more readable, and yes, much more relevant to Mexico and me than the other aforementioned novels. This is foreshadowing of the intimacy between Lola and Yunior yet to come. Vote in the poll and ratings.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The narration daz the book also shifts away from Yunior to another character at several key moments in the story. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Not only was this story incredible but also informative with plenty of background history. This runs in parallel to several central themes of the novel regarding identity, as Yunior’s code switching alludes to a struggle between his Dominican identity and his identity as a writer. At other times he throws his readers a surprising high-culture curveball, as in the name of his hero, which comes from a Latino’s mis-pronunciation of Oscar Wilde.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz | Quarterly Conversation

It could also be seen as belonging to the efflorescence of tough, post- “minimalist” American stories as produced by such figures as Thom Jones and Denis Johnson. This section needs additional citations for verification. With the absence of any embodiments of white characters to emphasize the lasting impact of the colonial imaginary, the mysticism behind the fuku and zafa become that much more convincing.

May 18, Nishat rated it really liked it Shelves: In essence, his psyche remains Dominican, by the standard that his life is consumed by this mystic element. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

He spends 27 days writing and stalking Ybon. After “getting dissed by a girl”, he attempts to kill himself by drinking two bottles of bried and jumping off the New Brunswick train bridge. A Dominican accent turns “Wilde” into “Wao”. I was so wrong. The dictatorship of It took me awhile to get into the rhythm and flow of the writing but once I did I was all in.

Magical realism of the novel serves a bdief purpose by enabling the juxtaposition of the supernatural, intangible being and a mortal.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Diaz knows most of us don’t know squat about Dominicans and, as in Drown, he brings us briskly into the light.

For instance, did you believe that a mongoose appeared to Belicia and spoke to her? An affection starved derelict of the most erotically affectionate people on the planet. As the title suggests, there is brevity to Oscar Wao’s life. Hype can really change the way you perceive a book. Many of the women on the island and in his high school class also suffered loss.

I loved listening to this because Lin-Manuel Miranda narrated it and, subsequently, I was attuned to every word. This book is awesome!!! Read it Forward Read it first. The tumescent horriblesnes of his proportions!

He has done much more than tell the story of Oscar Wao. He’s get everything going the wrong way for him except for the fact that he is Dominican, but the mere fact that he is Dominican instantiates this curse, the magically real aspect of his life rather than the American fantasy.