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Drown

by Junot Díaz

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,393425,231 (3.81)91
"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 forleaving 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 ofa 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 onDiaz; his first novel is on the way.… (more)
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» See also 91 mentions

English (41)  Danish (1)  All languages (42)
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
I didn't care for it.

This book seems to appeal to two audiences: those who identify with the characters, and those who find novelty in the experiences.

There is nothing wrong with this, but if you're not someone who enjoys the stories' resemblance to your own life, and you've experienced enough that the situations in these stories are not new or even unique, then the book doesn't offer much else.

The characters are unremarkable, and the stories themselves are rather pointless (not showing any particular insight, character development, etc). Reading Drown was like reading someone's journal: unless you are interested in the person themselves, it's just not all that interesting.
( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
Diaz does a great job on giving you the feel for the Dominican immigrant experience. Although this is a story collection, it feels like a novel because it deals with the same characters as it bounces through different time frames and locals. Some in the Dominican Republic and some in New Jersey/NYC. His prose is great but sometimes you don't always have a feel for the characters, but what you do get is how difficult life can be for so many and especially for immigrants who don't speak the language. Our country is not always that welcoming but people still want to come here. This is a worthwhile read to get some insight into parts of life for which I have no personal experience. He has written 3 books and they are all excellent with one winning the Pulitzer prize. Still waiting for something new from him. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jun 28, 2022 |
I read this book as part of a neighborhood wide book discussion. Ever since my neighborhood announce that "Drown: would be this year's read, I was curious about Junot Diaz. It turned out that he is popular with the "younger" crowd. "Drown" consists of ten short stories, which are all in some way connected to the life of Yunior. The perspective of the stories is different in each story. Sometimes Yunior tells the story himself,, one story is from the point of view of a boy (Ysrael) who is bullied by Yunior and his brother. The last story, "Negocios", tells about the experiences of Yuniors' wayward father.
The method of grouping multiple short stories under one theme works well in this case. Events and personalities become multilayered. It allows the reader change his opinion about a character. Yunior is no saint, he bullies, steals, lies and deals drugs, but nevertheless we feel sympathy for him.

Even though this book is not a style of writing I read a lot, I enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the discussion in two weeks. The day after Junot Diaz will do a reading and do an interview in a local theather; of course I am going.
( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Junot is a god. His words snap off the page. Like the description says, he's "unsentimental"--he doesn't have to find a larger meaning to all the stories and the moments, we do. Papi as a character is so intense and I had so much hatred directed toward him. He really fueled the book, I thought--was what messed up Yunior's life in a way.

In some ways, I remember being disappointed with Oscar Wao for the same reason I was disappointed with Drown--there was no actual meaning that I could pick up. As personal and close as I got to the narration, I still felt removed from the significance of the stories. The only place where I got some meaning, retrieved some emotional depth, was at the very very ending, the last two or three pages.

Amazing writing. ( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
Denna bok gav mig en chans att läsa och se Latinamerika på ett nytt, råare sätt. ( )
  autisticluke | Nov 14, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Díaz, Junotprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragg, BillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"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 forleaving 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 ofa 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 onDiaz; his first novel is on the way.

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