Book Review: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Many years ago when I thought that I might marry a woman from the Dominican Republic, I sat down and wrote an essay called “What would it mean to be Dominican?” Completely fearful, and wracked by questions of identity as it was, it was also honest. I’d lived in the DR for two years, hung with the Dominican diaspora in El Bronx (probably gave out a fair number visas to some) and felt comfortable with enough slang to actually use a phrase or two. Plus, I could baila un merengazo del diablo (doubters, you may cue Vince Vaughan: “Oh please, we both know I’m a phenomenal dancer.”) Continue reading →