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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao tells the story of Oscar "Wao" De Leon, an overweight, nerdy Dominican-American virgin living in New Jersey. He falls for many of the women he meets, although they all barely acknowledge his presence. Oscar longs to be the Dominican Tolkien, and his love life remains nonexistent when he attends Rutgers. His sister, Lola, and his roommate, Yunior, try to get him to leave his room and be more social, but Oscar resists. Yunior believes Oscar is suffering from a curse on the family, a fuku, which extends back to Oscar's family's past in the Dominican Republic. His mother, Belicia, was an erotic beauty whose family ran afoul of the dictator, Rafael Trujillo, leading to the death of the rest of the family. Can Oscar overcome the curse and find love? Junot Diaz's novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "It is Mr. Diaz's achievement in this galvanic novel that he's fashioned both a big picture window that opens out on the sorrows of Dominican history, and a small, intimate window that reveals one family's life and loves. In doing so, he's written a book that decisively establishes him as one of contemporary fiction's most distinctive and irresistible new voices."
Winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle prize for fictionWinner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for fiction