Saturday, July 3, 2010
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
One of the most heart-wrenching, and poignant tales I have ever read. This is a must-read.
The stories encircling 3 generations of a family strewn over New Jersey and Dominican Republic lay a foundation for the delivery of the ultimate lesson of the book-that love is a primeval need. The book tells the stories of a family during the era of the notoriously horrific (to say the least) dictator, Rafael Trujillo and their subsequent immigration to United States after his assassination and the fall of his regime.
Oscar, our protagonist, is a 300+-pound, sci-fi-lovin' nerd who says things like "I am copacetic" when asked how he is doing and "I will partake" when offered a smoke. The only goal in his life is to write and get published and get laid (but really, be loved). When he finally finds the "true love of his life" in a middle-aged Dominican prostitute, he risks everything, even his life to win her love. His almost-barbaric hunger and desperation for her affection left me feeling frustrated at times (C'mon man, get a better girl!) but bereaved by the lack of hope when I realized that she was the only one who showed any glimpse of love that he could hang on for life (literally).
He lived his life invisibly and without love. He was dark, fat and an immigrant.
He broke my heart.
After I read the final lines of the book, I closed it and held it for a while as tears streamed down my face. I was shaken to the core. It was a reverent experience.