Our First Pick: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

For months now, G.D. has been toying with the idea of starting a PostBourgie Reading and Discussion Group (I don’t like the term “book club,” but if we’ll need to call it that for that sake of brevity, so be it).

We figure Jan. ’09 is as a good a time as any to spark this jawn up. And our first reading pick will be: The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.

Though we’re still working out the kinks, we’re thinking of announcing each book pick during the first week of each new month. The group will be housed on its own page here at PostBourgie.com, so that you’ll have the choice to avoid comment spoilers, if necessary.

The reading deadline will be the 15th of the following month, with open and rolling discussion thereafter.

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is Diaz’s second book and his first novel. In April 2008, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It’s unlike any book we’ve ever read. With its fringe-character narrator, its sprawling historical asides (Dominican history is peppered throughout, primarily via reeeeally long footnotes); and the Don Quixotesque travails of the titular character, it succeeds as the rare work of simultaneous fiction and nonfiction.

Grab a copy at Amazon.com (where it’s currently on sale for $7.95) or at your local library (support community literacy!) and we’ll start to discuss it on February 15.


slb (aka Stacia L. Brown) is a writer, mother, and college instructor in Baltimore, MD. Check her out here: http://stacialbrown.com and here: http://beyondbabymamas.com.
  • I was really hoping I could get away with reading this later. *shakes fist* I’m adding it to an open Amazon order riiiiiight now.

  • SEK

    Excellent idea, and maybe a way to create a lexicon for non-Spanish speakers (or functionally non-Spanish speakers like myself). I don’t mean for you to do that, but it’ll inspire me to stop with the lazy and turn my notebook of Diaz’s slang into something web-friendly.

  • ladyfresshh

    yes! fantastic idea
    read now shani-o!

  • great stuff. i’m reading this now. almost done.
    i’d definitely like to talk to someone about it.
    especially all of the conversation fodder in the footnotes about the trujillato, et al.

  • kap1911

    Read it when it came out. Best book I have read in years.

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  • uyen

    i gotta wait til Feb. 15 to start analyzing the crap out of this book? man, read faster ;).