Junot Díaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The votes are in and the winner is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz! So let's have fun with Oscar!

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love.

With dazzling energy and insight, Junot Díaz immerses us in the uproarious lives of our hero Oscar, his runaway sister Lola, and their ferocious beauty-queen mother Belicia, and in the epic journey from Santo Domingo to Washington Heights to New Jersey's Bergenline and back again. Rendered with uncommon warmth and humor, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao presents an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and the endless human capacity to persevere - and to risk it all - in the name of love.

FYI Second winner was: Beyond the Islands by Alicia Yánez Cossío with 3 first choices and 2 second choices.

It’s a novel in the form of a set of eight stories, each about a different character. Each picks up from where the previous one left off, and there is continuity and overlap, but they are somewhat separate stories; eight narrative arcs rather than one overarching one. At turns hilarious and troubling, Yanez Cossio's ultimately generous treatment of small town self-importance and personal ambition underscores the violence born of prejudice and intolerance and finally discovers an unexpected path to renewal.



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  • iz

    As usual, this was an excellent meetup: the company, the discussions and the food. Thank you Rita and Susa! As for Oscar, it pleases me to say that although I didn't care for the book, as did others, I read it to the end.

    March 16, 2014

  • Anne

    I'm so glad you liked Word Susa! I was amazed at the breadth of topics and books in such a little place. By the way, anyone who is a coffee drinker: Word has GREAT coffee.

    February 14, 2014

  • Colleen

    Susa, does Word have the Oscar Wao book? If so, I will head over there tomorrow.

    February 14, 2014

  • Susa

    I finally made it to "Word" in Newark Avenue for the first time. Adorable book shop and super nice people!

    February 14, 2014

  • Nadine

    My choices are 1) Oscar Wao and 2) Like water for chocolate. See you in March!

    February 11, 2014

  • Suzanne L.

    Hi, All. My choices would be Like Water for Chocolate and Oscar Wao.

    February 11, 2014

  • Donte

    1st The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. 2nd Beyond the Islands

    February 11, 2014

  • Sheila J.

    1st: Beyond the Island; 2nd: American of Cuban descent

    (Excited to join this group!)

    February 10, 2014

  • Rita H

    The wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and beyond the island

    February 10, 2014

  • Anne

    1st choice: Beyond the Island, 2nd choice: Like Water for Chocolate Thanks!

    February 10, 2014

  • BARBARA

    Hi great meetup today! Thanks Susa & Rita you guys are the best!
    1st Dons Flor 2nd Mambo Kings.

    February 9, 2014

  • Colleen

    Hi Susa, My choices are (1) Beyond the Islands (2) Oscar Wao. Thanks for organizing us.

    February 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dona Flor 1st, Oscar Wao 2nd

    February 9, 2014

  • Susa

    Hi all,
    please post your 1st and 2nd choice here until Wednesday, Feb. 12th - Thanks!!

    1 · February 9, 2014

  • Anne

    Here are some suggestions:
    Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina):
    Ficciones
    Labyrinths
    Juanna Manuela Gorriti (Argentina):
    Dreams and Realities
    Augusto Roa Bastos (Paraguay):
    I The Supreme
    Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala):
    Legends of Guatemala (fiction)
    The President (Nobel prize winner)
    Juan Rulfo (Mexico):
    Pedro Paramo
    Carlos Fuentes (Mexico):
    The Old Gringo
    Aura
    Edna Iturralde (Ecuador):
    The Day of Yesterday
    Alicia Yanez Cossio (Ecuador):
    Beyond the Islands (about the Galapagos Islands) - my first choice

    I've had these titles on my reading list since I read a book about a professor of English who travels through central America to read Austen with local people. While there she asks the people she meets for recommendations of authors from the country she is in. These are some of the books that were recommended to her (that are available in English).

    January 12, 2014

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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