Don't be deceived by the title of this book because it is NOT about Oscar Wao. OK, it's not JUST about Oscar. It's a fictional historical memoir about two women, Oscar's sister Lola and their mother Beli, and two men, Oscar and his grandfather Abelard. Set in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey in the United States, Dominican immigrant author Junot Diaz enumerates the lives of these characters in reverse order, beginning with Oscar up to his grandfather, through the dictatorial era of President Trujillo up to their new life in the States. The series of events, places and people are told in an amusingly engaging and honest comparison to a milieu of literary characters, books, actors, actresses, movies, TV shows, animes, video games, etc. In fact, as I was reading it I thought I was taking a stroll down the 80s and 90s memory lane. Some of those mentioned were Star Trek, Space Ghost, Robotech Macross, Lord of the Rings, Atari, and Star Wars, just to name a few. Remember those? If you spent your childhood in the 80s you'd be nostalgic by now.
|Some of the TV shows and video games from the 80s |
referred to in the book
Note: Junot Diaz will be coming to Manila to attend the 2nd Manila International Literary Festival from Nov. 16 to 18 at the Ayala Museum in Makati City. If you want to have an idea how he is like, this is an interesting video to watch of his interview at the 2009 National Book Festival in Washington D.C.