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The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz

This extraordinary combination of street-talk slang, Spanglish and adrenalin-powered prose is spot on for the story of a family that cannot be understood in isolation from the violent history and traditions of the Dominican Republic. I found the combination of humour, exotic passion and heartrending tragedy very effective, making this a particularly powerful and rewarding read.

Extract

These days I have to ask myself: What made me angrier? That Oscar, the fat loser, quit, or that Oscar, the fat loser, defied me? And I wonder: What hurt him more? That I was never really his friend, or that I pretended to be?

That’s all it should have been. Just some fat kid I roomed with my junior year. Nothing more, nothing more. But then Oscar, the dumb-ass, decided to fall in love. And instead of getting him for a year, I got the motherfucker for the rest of my life.

Parallels

Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
 

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