The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd.
From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love.
But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fuku: the curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.
Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humour, and insight the Dominican-American experience - and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss.
“Díaz's writing is unruly, manic, seductive. . . In Díaz's landscape we are all the same, victims of a history and a present that doesn't just bleed together but stew. Often in hilarity. Mostly in heartbreak.” - Esquire