The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Junot Díaz's novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Junot Díaz

The acclaimed story revolves around a good natured, fantasy literature loving, morbidly obese Dominican-American named Oscar who is searching for love. It's been described as a darkly humourous portrait of the modern American immigrant experience, and went on to win several major literary awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

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From the book

In those blessed days of his youth, Oscar was something of a Casanova. One of those preschool loverboys who was always trying to kiss the girls, always coming up behind them during a merengue and giving them the pelvic pump, the first nigger to learn the perrito and the one who danced it any chance he got. Because in those days he was (still) a "normal" Dominican boy raised in a "typical" Dominican family, his nascent pimp-liness was encouraged by blood and friends alike. During parties — and there were many many parties in those long-ago seventies days, before Washington Heights was Washington Heights, before the Bergenline became a straight shot of Spanish for almost a hundred blocks — some drunk relative inevitably pushed Oscar onto some little girl and then everyone would howl as boy and girl approximated the hip-motism of the adults.

From The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz ©2007. Published by Penguin Publishing Group.

Author interviews

We talk to author Junot Diaz about masculinity, writing about a 'Dominican male slut' and what his relationship is to that category. 7:02