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"This stunning collection of stories offers an unsentimental glimpse of life among the immigrants from the Dominican Republic--and other front-line reports on the ambivalent promise of the American dream--by an eloquent and original writer who describes more than physical dislocation in conveying the price that is paid for leaving culture and homeland behind." --San Francisco Chronicle.
Junot Diaz's stories are as vibrant, tough, unexotic, and beautiful as their settings - Santa Domingo, Dominican Neuva York, the immigrant neighborhoods of industrial New Jersey with their gorgeously polluted skyscapes. Places and voices new to our literature yet classically American: coming-of-age stories full of wild humor, intelligence, rage, and piercing tenderness. And this is just the beginning. Diaz is going to be a giant of American prose. --Francisco Goldman
Ever since Diaz began publishing short stories in venues as prestigious as The New Yorker, he has been touted as a major new talent, and his debut collection affirms this claim. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Diaz uses the contrast between his island homeland and life in New York City and New Jersey as a fulcrum for his trenchant tales. His young male narrators are teetering into precarious adolescence. For these sons of harsh or absent fathers and bone-weary, stoic mothers, life is an unrelenting hustle. In Santo Domingo, they are sent to stay with relatives when the food runs out at home; in the States, shoplifting and drugdealing supply material necessities and a bit of a thrill in an otherwise exhausting and frustrating existence. There is little affection, sex is destructive, conversation strained, and even the brilliant beauty of a sunset is tainted, its colors the product of pollutants. Keep your eye on Diaz; his first novel is on the way. --Booklist
Moving, insightful and authentic stories you can't put down
These stories are compelling from the beginning. I kept thinking of people I know from the Dominican neighborhoods in NYC where I live and work and from the Puerto Rican family into which I married many years ago. These stories so thoroughly delve into the inner lives of its characters. Mr. Diaz knows how to convey through action and circumstance and dynamics between characters what few words could do as effectively. You sense what they feel and what they think rather than learn about it through dialogue or inner speech in the stories. I came to the stories with a deep respect for the people of the Dominican diaspora and also very familiar with the experience of Puerto Ricans and still felt a sense of awe that only comes with opening a box of something completely unknown and looking inside to see what's in it. I have since read both the Spanish and English versions of Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar and was blown away by the creativity that drove the temporal aspects of the novel, as well as its intriguing characters who defy definitions so often oversimplified and stereotyped in the United States, not to mention the expertise of the management of the mixing of English and Spanish in each of the versions. Can't wait for more!
Review on "Drown"
Beautifully written book. My High-school English teacher assigned this book to read for class. I absolutely fell in love. Great choice!
- Category: Short Stories
- Published: Jul 01, 1997
- Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
- Print Length: 240 Pages
- Language: English