Junot Diaz and 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao'

Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz weaves the story of an overweight teenager in New York with Dominican history, comic books, and US foreign policy in "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao."
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

On it's surface his novel "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" is the story of a monstrously overweight Dominican teenager living in New York.

Yet it's also the story of the Dominican Republic, blended with everything from comic books and role playing games to US history and political science.

The New York Times described it as "Mario Vargas Llosa meets "Star Trek" meets David Foster Wallace meets Kanye West."

Diaz says it all grew out of the character of Oscar himself.