The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Introduction

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is a best-selling novel written by Dominican author Junot Díaz. Although a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey where Díaz was raised and deals explicitly with his ancestral homeland's experience under dictator Rafael Trujillo.[1] The book chronicles both the life of Oscar De León, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and with falling in love, as well as the curse that has plagued his family for generations.

Narrated by multiple characters, the novel incorporates a significant amount of Spanglish and neologisms, as well as references to fantasy and science fiction films and books. Through its overarching theme of the fukú curse, it additionally contains elements of magical realism. It received highly positive reviews from critics, who praised Díaz's writing style and the multi-generational story. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao went on to win numerous prestigious awards in 2008, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.[2]


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