Here's the review I wrote when it came out. I stand by this completely. If someone says they read this and liked it, punch them in the throat.
The middle sections of the novel center on the lives of Oscar's runaway sister, Lola; his mother, Hypatia Belicia Cabral; and his grandfather, Abelard.
Rife with footnotes, science fiction and fantasy references, comic book analogies, and various Spanish dialects, the novel is also a meditation on story-telling, the Dominican diaspora and identity, masculinity, and oppression.
Most of the story is told by an apparently omniscient narrator who is eventually revealed to be Yunior de Las Casasa college roommate of Oscar's who dated Lola. Oscar desperately wants to be successful with women but, from a young age, is unable to find love, largely because he is a nerd obsessed with Oscar wao fiction and comic books.
His great fear is that he will die a virgin. After high school, Oscar attends Rutgers University. After "getting dissed by a girl", he attempts to kill himself by drinking two bottles of liquor and jumping off the New Brunswick train bridge.
His sister's boyfriend Yunior the narrator of much of the novel moves in with Oscar and tries to help him get in shape and become more "normal". After a fight with his sister, Oscar again gets drunk, walks onto a train bridge, and jumps.
He survives the fall but is seriously injured. Oscar recuperates and graduates from Rutgers. He substitute teaches at his former high school and dreams about writing an epic work of science fiction.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. This book is such a literary rockstar that we're pretty sure you already know what it's about. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao made a big splash when Riverhead books published it in It won a bucketload of prizes, including the John Sargent Senior First Novel Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in Fiction.. But the list doesn't end there. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao has , ratings and 18, reviews. Cameron said: How this book won the Pulitzer Prize AND the National Book Cri /5(K).
Eventually, he moves to the Dominican Republic and falls helplessly in love with Ybon, a prostitute who lives near him. Ybon is kind to Oscar but rejects his frequent romantic overtures.
Ybon's boyfriend, a violent police captain, becomes jealous of Oscar and sends two goons who kidnap Oscar, take him to the sugarcane fields, and beat him into a coma.
Oscar's family takes him back to the United States to heal. Oscar recovers from the beating, borrows money from Yunior, and returns to the Dominican Republic.
He spends 27 days writing and stalking Ybon. She is horrified at first but softens and eventually has sex with Oscar. Ybon's boyfriend's goons then find Oscar, take him back to the sugarcane fields, and kill him.
Flashbacks and secondary narratives[ edit ] The novel contains significant exposition on Oscar's family history.
One section is a first person narrative from the perspective of Oscar's sister, Lola, explaining her struggles to get along with their headstrong mother, Beli. Subsequent sections detail Beli's backstory growing up as an orphan in the Dominican Republic after her father was imprisoned and her mother and two sisters died.
Yunior provides analysis and commentary for the events he is relaying in the novel. His speech often exemplifies code switchingswitching rapidly from a lively, Caribbean-inflected vernacular, replete with frequent usage of profanity to wordy, eloquent, and academic prose.
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.
Code switching between Spanish and English is also central to the narrative itself of the book, as characters switch back and forth as they see fit. The narration of the book also shifts away from Yunior to another character at several key moments in the story.
In chapter two, Lola narrates her own story from the first person. This is foreshadowing of the intimacy between Lola and Yunior yet to come.
The beginning of chapter two also features the use of second person narration, rarely used in literature. Yunior reminds the reader consistently that he is telling the story, as opposed to the story happening in its own right.
Footnotes[ edit ] The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao makes extensive use of footnotes to the point that many of the characters are developed in the footnotes in addition to the story. Rather than just provide factual background, Yunior's narrative continues in the footnotes just as it does in the body of the novel.
When describing Oscar's deep love of science fiction and fantasy literature, Yunior continues in the footnotes: It might have been a consequence being Antillean who more sci-fi than us? Yunior even makes reference in the footnotes to his present life earlier in the novel than when he describes it in Chapter Eight.
The many science fiction references throughout the novel and footnotes emphasize Yunior believes the fantastical elements of Dominican history. Yunior cites the fall of Mordor and the dispelling of evil from Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings as a complement to the fall of Trujillo.
Infor example, while the Friends of the Dominican Republic were perejiling Haitians and Haitian-Dominicans and Haitian-looking Dominicans to death, while genocide was, in fact, in the making, Abelard kept his head, eyes, and nose safely tucked into his books let his wife take care of hiding his servants, didn't ask her nothing about it and when survivors staggered into his surgery with unspeakable machete wounds, he fixed them up as best he could without making any comments as to the ghastliness of their wounds.
Many of the footnotes ultimately connect back to themes of coming to a new world underscored through the novel's references to fantasy and sci-fi or having one's own world completely changed. Trujillo's reign as revealed in the footnotes of the novel becomes just as dystopian as one of Oscar's favorite science fiction novels.
Oscar's speech reflects an autodidactic language based on his knowledge of fantasy, 'nerd' literature and his speech is filled with phrases such as "I think she's orchidaceous"  and "I do not move so precipitously",  whereas Yunior "affects a bilingual b-boy flow"  and intersperses it with literary language.
Because when she awildas out on your ass you'll know pain for real. Yunior peppers the English-speaking novel with Spanish vocabulary and phrases and certain English sentences are built with Spanish syntax:The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Questions and Answers.
The Question and Answer section for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Product Features humour, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an exciting and.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Questions and Answers. The Question and Answer section for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a great resource to . May 04, · Junot Díaz, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, has been accused of sexual harassment and bullying in .
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao () is a novel written by Dominican American author Junot alphabetnyc.comgh a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey in the United States, where Díaz was raised, and it deals with the Dominican Republic experience under dictator Rafael Trujillo.
The book chronicles both the life of Oscar De León, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson Author: Junot Díaz.
This book is such a literary rockstar that we're pretty sure you already know what it's about. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao made a big splash when Riverhead books published it in It won a bucketload of prizes, including the John Sargent Senior First Novel Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in Fiction..
But the list doesn't end there.