Drown
Drown
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Annotation: Ten stories conveying the Dominican and the Dominican American experience.
Catalog Number: #600260618
Format: Ebook
No other formats available
Special Formats: Ebook (Subscription, 2 Years) Ebook Downloadable Downloadable
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 1997
Edition Date: 1997
Territory: North America
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-10-114714-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-10-114714-6
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
Ever since Díaz 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, Díaz 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 drug dealing 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 Díaz; his first novel is on the way.
Kirkus Reviews
Daz's first collection of ten stories, some having appeared in the New Yorker and Story, is certain to draw attention for its gritty view of life in the barrios of the Dominican Republic and rough neighborhoods of urban New Jersey. Most of the stories are linked by their narrator, who spent his first nine years in the D.R., until his father in the States brought the entire family to South Jersey, where he continued to display the survivalist machismo he developed during years of poverty, scamming, and struggle. In the Caribbean pieces, Daz offers a boy's-eye view of a hardscrabble life. In ``Ysrael,'' the narrator and his brother, sent to the countryside during the summer, plot to unmask a local oddity, a boy whose face was eaten off by a pig in his youth. Much later in the volume, ``No Face'' reappears, surviving the taunts of the locals as he waits for his trip to America, where surgeons will work on his face. ``Arguantando'' documents life in the barrio, where the narrator, his brother, and his mother eke out an existence while hearing nothing from the father. ``Negocios'' explains why: Robbed of his savings in the US, the father schemes to marry a citizen in order to become one himself, all the time thinking of his family back home. He is hardly a saint, and, reunited in New Jersey, the family is dominated by his violent temper. ``Fiesta, 1980'' recalls the narrator's bouts of car sickness, for which his father shows no sympathy. In the remaining tales, a teenaged Dominican drug dealer in New Jersey dreams of a normal life with his crackhead girlfriend (``Aurora''); a high-school dealer is disturbed by his best friend's homosexuality (``Drown''); and ``How to Date . . .'' is a fractured handbook on the subtleties of interracial dating. Daz's spare style and narrative poise make for some disturbing fiction, full of casual violence and indifferent morality. A debut calculated to raise some eyebrows."
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
The 10 tales in this intense debut collection plunge us into the emotional lives of people redefining their American identity. Narrated by adolescent Dominican males living in the struggling communities of the Dominican Republic, New York and New Jersey, these stories chronicle their outwardly cool but inwardly anguished attempts to recreate themselves in the midst of eroding family structures and their own burgeoning sexuality. The best pieces, such as """"Aguantando'' (to endure), """"Negocios,'' """"Edison, NJ'' and the title story, portray young people waiting for transformation, waiting to belong. Their worlds generally consist of absent fathers, silent mothers and friends of questionable principles and morals. Diaz's restrained prose reveals their hopes only by implication. It's a style suited to these characters, who long for love but display little affection toward each other. Still, the author's compassion glides just below the surface, occasionally emerging in poetic passages of controlled lyricism, lending these stories a lasting resonance. BOMC and QPB alternates; foreign rights sold in Holland, Norway, Sweden, the U.K., Spain, France and Germany. (Sept.) FYI: Diaz was the only writer chosen by Newsweek as one of the 10 """"New Faces of 1996."""" Drown is a nominee for the 1997 QPB """"New Voices'' award. """"Ysrael'' will be included in Best American Short Stories 1996 and """"Edison, NJ"""" will appear in the summer 1996 issue of the Paris Review. Riverhead will publish Diaz's novel, The Cheater's Guide to Love, in 1997.
Word Count: 44,399
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 9+
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 88921 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.7 / points:12.0 / quiz:Q37660
Lexile: 830L

From the beloved and award-winning author Junot Díaz, a spellbinding saga of a family’s journey through the New World.
 
A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents. It also introduced an unforgettable narrator— Yunior, the haunted, brilliant young man who tracks his family’s precarious journey from the barrios of Santo Domingo to the tenements of industrial New Jersey, and their epic passage from hope to loss to something like love. Here is the soulful, unsparing book that made Díaz a literary sensation.
 


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