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Thursday, 6 September 2007

"A carnivalesque mix of fantasy and gallows humor"

(Which Caribbean writer has got the most mentions here in the last fortnight? As of this post, it's Naipaul 6, Díaz 4.)

Thanks to CRB contributor Garnette Cadogan for pointing out that the new issue of Bookforum includes a review by Marcela Valdes of Junot Díaz's Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Love is a word that appears in a lot of Díaz’s interviews, but his affection can be scorchingly unsentimental. Drown’s ten stories spotlight issues that the Latino community mostly likes to avoid: namely, its deep veins of homophobia, in fidelity, racism, sexism, and casual verbal abuse. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao adopts a similarly critical stance, but where Drown delivers its assessments with laconic restraint, Wao bellows them out with a carnivalesque mix of fantasy and gallows humor.

Also in this Bookforum: Andy Battaglia on Michael E. Veal's Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae.

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