Bowdoin Reads

Tanya Todorova is reading...

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Diaz

I read the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for my Caribbean Literature class with Professor Nadia Celis. Written in a colloquial, street-smart Spanglish, the book introduces us to Oscar, an overweight Dominican teenager living in New Jersey. A nerd who loves reading science fiction, fantasy and comics and enjoys writing, Oscar is desperately trying to find love – something that proves less than easy. The novel brings us on a journey back and forth between New Jersey and Santo Domingo and takes us back in time to the Trujillo Era in the Dominican Republic to tell us the story of Oscar’s family and of a nation that has survived one of the most violent and repressive dictatorships of the twentieth century. The author, Junot Diaz, gives a powerful yet accessible interpretation of this period of the Dominican history while remaining personal and witty. The book is a pleasure to read, funny and energetic, written in a unique narrative style that challenges literary conventions. I would recommend it to everyone looking for a good reading break between academic assignments.

1 comment | Find in library

Submitted by jmontgom on Mon, 04/06/2009 - 11:13am.
Let me add my recommendation for The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. And Tanya, your description is right on target. I'm glad to hear that you also liked it! Junot Diaz has created a really terrific character! I am looking forward to reading more of his work. Judy Montgomery