mallory e, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by mallory e)
This collection just blows my mind. He is fast. He is raw. With these together, Diaz brings an ongoing fight to survive up to our noses. Placing the internal dialogue of characters in settings of brazen harsh ambiance in the barrio to the uptight suburbs of New Jersey, Diaz colors lives fully. Sure, you could say it's just families making a dollar and trying to get ahead and trying to get along while pursuing their idea of the American Dream, but their stories are stifling;I want to read them over and over to try to get to their deeper meaning. I want to know these people.
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rwilson, January 7, 2007 (view all comments by rwilson)
Everyone's hot for Diaz' _Drown_. True, he's been published in the _New Yorker_ and that gives him a boost up from most of us rarely published unknown fiction writers. But still. . . .his characterizations are haphazard and he plays the one-string pity-me button a little too often. I am not sure yet if this fiction works for me, but it is always good to know the new stuff.
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The world in Junot Diaz's short story collection Drown is gritty, sad, and hilarious, and the pictures he paints of life in the Dominican Republic, and of Dominican immigrants in America, is rich with pathos. When Drown came out in 1996, Diaz was hailed as one of the "new voices" — and already, the highest praise for a young writer is to be called the "next Junot Diaz."
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"This stunning collection of stories offers an unsentimental glimpse of life among the immigrants from the Dominican Republic — and other front-line reports on the ambivalent promise of the American dream — by an eloquent and original writer who describes more than physical dislocation in conveying the price that is paid for leaving culture and homeland behind"
by Walter Mosley,
"Junot Diaz is a major new writer. His world explodes off the page into the canon of our literature and our hearts."
by Donna Seaman, Booklist,
"Ever since Diaz began publishing short stories in venues as prestigious as the New Yorker, he has been touted as a major new talent, and his debut collection affirms this claim."
by Robert Spillman, Salon,
"Diaz expertly captures the rage and alienation of the Dominican immigrant experience."
A debut novel that is a brilliant exploration of a close, complicated family and the struggle between brotherhood and becoming an individual
"This stunning collection of stories offers an unsentimental glimpse of life among the immigrants from the Dominican Republic--and other front-line reports on the ambivalent promise of the American dream--by an eloquent and original writer who describes more than physical dislocation in conveying the price that is paid for leaving culture and homeland behind." --San Francisco Chronicle.
Junot Diaz's stories are as vibrant, tough, unexotic, and beautiful as their settings - Santa Domingo, Dominican Neuva York, the immigrant neighborhoods of industrial New Jersey with their gorgeously polluted skyscapes. Places and voices new to our literature yet classically American: coming-of-age stories full of wild humor, intelligence, rage, and piercing tenderness. And this is just the beginning. Diaz is going to be a giant of American prose. --Francisco Goldman
Ever since Diaz began publishing short stories in venues as prestigious as The New Yorker, he has been touted as a major new talent, and his debut collection affirms this claim. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Diaz uses the contrast between his island homeland and life in New York City and New Jersey as a fulcrum for his trenchant tales. His young male narrators are teetering into precarious adolescence. For these sons of harsh or absent fathers and bone-weary, stoic mothers, life is an unrelenting hustle. In Santo Domingo, they are sent to stay with relatives when the food runs out at home; in the States, shoplifting and drugdealing supply material necessities and a bit of a thrill in an otherwise exhausting and frustrating existence. There is little affection, sex is destructive, conversation strained, and even the brilliant beauty of a sunset is tainted, its colors the product of pollutants. Keep your eye on Diaz; his first novel is on the way. --Booklist
An exquisite, blistering debut novel Three brothers tear their way through childhood— smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—hes Puerto Rican, shes white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times. Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful. Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.
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