During the past weeks of August siestas I finally finished a few good books, first The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao or as I read it in Spanish La maravillosa vida breve de Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. I first heard about Junot Diaz after hearing one of his stories featured on The NewYorker fiction podcast-a jewel in itself where prominent writers choose a story that has been featured in the NewYorker read it and discuss it with the host. Diaz's story was perfect, real, fresh, vivid. When I heard he had a novel, a Pulitzer prize winning novel, I had it read it. Oscar Wao is a perfect example of Latinamerican literature at its best...family histories coming back to haunt the present and magic mixed with reality. Junot Diaz made it new with his style, at least in the Spanish translation it was very coloquial street language mixing American slang with Dominican slang, and going between English and Spanish throughout the vocabulary. A perfect way to represent the Latino reality in the US. The novel was also filled with footnotes providing the history of various family members and important figures in Dominican life...providing the reader not only with a family history of Oscar, but also of the Dominican Republic-identity is so marked by where we come from. This will surely be on a few reading lists for Latin-american studies in the near future-you should add it to your list too.
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