This year’s Children’s Reads Together book selection is Junot Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize winning, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The Dominican Republic is central to the family story which is told through the eyes of Yunior. Life under the Trujillo regime has a major influence on the citizens.
The New Yorker interviewed the author on March 15th. Diaz refers to The Fantastic Four in this interview. Note that the Fantastic Four are supposedly a dysfunctional yet loving family! Diaz talks about the lengthy process in finally finishing this novel and specifially about some of the themes in the book. NPR’s October 2007 interview with the author is available . Diaz was interviewed shortly after receiving the Pulitzer and mentioned the personal similarities between Oscar’s childhood and his own. The New York Times reviewed the book and the Boston Globe which ends with, “the great achievement of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Diaz’s ability to balance an intimate, multigeneraltion story of familial tragedy with a meditation on the larger horrors that have griped their homeland.” A reading guide is available on the publisher’s website.
If you are interested in additional history about the Dominican, Hispaniola.com includes a fairly extensive one with more details about the Trujillo/U.S. relationship. The World Health Organization provides health information about the country. I’m having problems finding the origin of “fuku” so if any knows, please comment.