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Drown by Junot Diaz

Drown (edition 1997)

by Junot Diaz

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1,843313,765 (3.81)86
Authors:Junot Diaz
Info:Riverhead Trade (1997), Edition: First Edition Thus, Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:short stories, many connected, Dominican Republic, New York, New Jersey, poverty, immigration, talent this big will always make a noise, 2012

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Drown by Junot Díaz


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English (30)  Danish (1)  All (31)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Young immigrants of color show their gratitude to America by looking for drugs and sex while occasionally committing theft and trying to avoid, or cause, physical altercations. Sample sentence from "Aurora": "I wrote but I can't remember what I said to her, except that the cops had come after her neighbor for stealing somebody's car and that the gulls were shitting on everything." Sample sentence from "Drown": "We were raging then, crazy the way we stole, broke windows, the way we pissed on people's steps and then challenged them to come out and stop us." Sample sentence from "How To Date A Browngirl...": "If she's a whitegirl you know you'll at least get a handjob." ( )
  YESterNOw | Feb 29, 2016 |
The experiences of a Dominican Rep immigrant family, 14 December 2015

This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
Short and deceptively simple stories, following the members of a Dominican republic family, and set both there and in their new home in New Jersey. Adulterous, bullying father, resentful mother and the principal narrator, younger son Yunior; the stories are glimpses into their lives, and the fact that they are not in chronological order adds massively to the impact. So as we see the unhappy household in the USA ("I'd written an essay in school called MY FATHER THE TORTURER, but the teacher made me write a new one. She thought I was kidding"), the final chapter that tells of Father's decision to bring his family over, after many years abandonment has a bitterness rather than the heart-warming feeling it might otherwise have conveyed.
Great writing. ( )
  starbox | Dec 14, 2015 |
Here's the thing. Anything you read by Diaz is going to feel like heavy drinking in a rough-around-the-edges bar; the kind of place where it's too dark to see; where the soles of your shoes are sticky-stuck to the floor and there is the obsessively constant need to wipe your hands and mouth. Diaz has that conversational, lean in and listen way of talking that sounds slightly conspiratorial but always brutally honest. While the stories change direction and voice, the messages of culture, society, family, tradition and passion do not. Powerful characters are matched only by their fierce loves and tragic losses. Their triumphs and travesties are spilled across the page with a "so what?" wild abandon. It's as if you are elbow to elbow with Diaz as he whispers to you lush stories from his childhood, his coming of age, his entire history. Every story is intensely personal. But, But! But, all the while you are aware that this bar, these stories - this is his turf and you are not safe without him there. You need him to keep talking. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 25, 2015 |
Drown is an engulfing collection of interrelated stories, often involving Diaz' narrator Junior. Diaz has a way of writing his characters that makes them known to readers through their words and actions rather than a direct description from the narrator. A skill that is rare and always greatly appreciated.

My main issue with Diaz' writing is the way he portrays women. Almost all of his female characters exist to satisfy his male characters' sexual appetites and little else. And let me be clear - it's not that I'm squeamish or prudish about sex in literature, it's that the women in these stories are rarely granted a serious level of complexity. Diaz is an immensely talented writer and in interviews I've read this doesn't seem to be malicious in intent. But I would love to see the skill he shows in creating Junior applied towards a female character who carries the same depth and weight.

That said, his shortcoming in this area doesn't eclipse the rest of the work. Diaz is an incredibly talented writer giving voice to a community within American culture which is vastly underrepresented in American literature. These stories only get better the more I think about them and I will definitely read more by Diaz in the future. ( )
  cattylj | Feb 28, 2015 |
Translated into Spanish as Negocios, a collection of short stories set in the DR and in NY area. The best story of all however, the longest and the last in the book tells a story of a man leaving his family to make his fortune in the USA. It is the story not only of this man coming from the DR to the USA but of economic refugees, ilegal immigrant workers across the world, the terrible hardships and abuse, the separation and distancing from the old life, the fateful choices that are made in trying to start a new life, and the attempts to reconcile the dreams with realities. ( )
  grheault | Jan 30, 2014 |
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The fact that I
am writing to you
in English
already falsifies what i
wanted to tell you.
My subject:
how to explain to you that I
don't belong to English
though I belong nowhere else

Gustavo Perez Firmat
Para mi madre,

Virtudes Díaz
First words
We are on our way to the colmado for an errand, a beer for my tío, when Rafa stood still and tilted his head, as if listening to a message I couldn't hear, something beamed in from afar.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679776575, Paperback)

El lector tiene en sus manos una colección de relatos que viene precedida de una enorme expectación. Su autor, seleccionado por Newsweek como uno de los diez nuevos rostros para el noventa y seis, nos transporta desde los pueblos y parajes polvorientos de su tierra natal, la República Dominicana, hasta los barrios industrials y el paisaje urbano de New Jersey, bajo un horizonte de chimeneas humeantes. La obra triunfal que marcó el arranque literario de Junot Díaz puede ahora disfrutarse en una edición en español que conserva en su integridad la fuerza desabrida y la delicadeza del texto original.Los niños y jóvenes que pueblan las páginas de Negocios gravitan sin sosiego por territorios marginales, a mitad de camino entre la inocencia y la experiencia, entre la curiosidad infantil y la crueldad más descarnada. Criados en hogares abandonados por el padre, donde todo se sostiene gracias a la férrea abegación de la madre, estos adolescentes acarician sueños de independencia, asomándose con recelo a un mundo donde intuyen que no hay un lugar reservado para ellos. En estos diez relatos la prosa de Junot Díaz oscila con sabiduría entre el humor, la desolación y la ternura, desplegando en cada página un estilo palpitante de vida.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Stories set in the Dominican Republic and in New Jersey. In Ysrael, a boy is disfigured by a pig, No Face is on his trip to America to undergo plastic surgery, and How to Date is on the art of dating interracially.

(summary from another edition)

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