This review originally ran in the Times Union in September 2007.
Wow! Or should I say “Wao”?
Junot Diaz‘s long-awaited debut novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” (Riverhead Books; 335 pages; $24.95) is the best book I’ve read this year.
The story traces a fuku, or the “Curse and the Doom of the New World.” Oscar, an overweight first-generation New Jersey kid, is way into J.R.R. Tolkien,Japanese anime and science fiction (he’s writing aspace opera). But he and his family are cursed.
His grandfather, a respected doctor in the Dominican Republic in the 1950s, feared his beautiful teenage daughter would catch the eye of dictator-for-lifeRafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. Trujillo ruled from 1930 to 1961 and was known to rape the daughters of prominent citizens.
Debate Watch Party (Photo by Andrzej Pilaczyk)
How are college kids approaching this election? Where I work, we’ve had debate watching parties open to the public. The communal experience of watching the debates have been eye-opening for students, who say that they value the ability to share the moment with hundreds of others, to see in real life and in real time how others — fellow students and members of the community — respond to the words of the two major party political candidates.
The togetherness, the shared experience, are a vivid contradiction to the divisiveness of the campaigns. They are a moment of hope. More photos are here.
The next Debate Watch Party is at 9 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016. More info here.
Nine views of the sky over the past nine days in upstate New York.