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Book of the Year: "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"
Book of the year is a Humanities Division- sponsored series of events celebrating a thought-provoking piece of fiction or non-fiction. For this year, the selected book is The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a novel by Junot Diaz. Contact Alene Terzian (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Svetlana Lynch (email@example.com) or Leslie Bretall at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Book of the Year activities.
Fall 2012 Events
September 21: TBA A Film "Feast of the Goats" in HSLH-101
October 17: 12:30--1:30pm "Think Critically about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" Deanna Davis -- MENH--343
November 6: 12:30--1:30pm "Belonging and Identity" Pamela Williams-Paes inMENH--305
November 28: 12:20--1:50pm "Book Discussion" Juan Buriel in MENH--343
About the Book:
From Booklist: Diaz's gutsy short story collection; Drown (1996) made the young Dominican American a literary star. Readers who have had to wait a decade for his first novel are now spectacularly rewarded. Paralleling his own experiences growing up in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey, he has choreographed a family saga at once sanguinary and sexy that confronts the horrific brutality at loose during the reign of the dictator Trujillo. Diaz's besieged characters look to the supernatural for; explanations and hope, from fuku, the curse unleashed when Europeans arrived on Hispaniola, to the forces dramatized in the works of science fiction and fantasy so beloved by the chubby ghetto nerd Oscar Wao, the brilliantly realized boy of conscience at the center of this whirlwind tale. Writing in a combustible mix of slang and lyricism, Diaz loops back and forth in time and place, generating sly and lascivious humor in counterpoint to tyranny and sorrow. And his characters Oscar, the hopeless romantic; Lola, his no-nonsense sister; their heartbroken mother; and the irresistible homeboy narrator cling to life with the magical strength of superheroes, yet how vibrantly human they are. Propelled by compassion, Diaz's novel is intrepid and radiant. Seaman, Donna.
About the Author
Junot Diaz was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and is the author of Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao which won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices, Best American Short Stories (1996, 1997, 1999, 2000), in Pushcart Prize XXII and in The O'Henry Prize Stories 2009.
He has received a Eugene McDermott Award, a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Lila Acheson Wallace Readers Digest Award, the 2002 Pen/Malamud Award, the 2003 US-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the fiction editor at the Boston Review and the Rudge (1948) and Nancy Allen professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.