Sunday, 23 March 2008

Book of the week and Bibliography - Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot Diaz is a Dominican born, US-based author who has been making the literary headlines with his first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. 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 Fuk-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.

While Wao is Diaz's first novel, it is not his first book, since he published a book of short stories (Drown) in 1996. In the UK, both books have been published in wraps only by Faber, whereas the US editions of each were hardbacks published by Riverhead. Diaz may become one of the literary heavyweights, so pick up your signed copies now.

Drown (US - Riverhead, 1996 (included an errata slip); UK - Faber, 1996)

The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao (US - Riverhead, 2007; UK - Faber, 2008)

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