Here, however, is what I know I really want: Junot Diaz to write something else.
Oscar Wao was the runner-up selection to Netherland at my last book group meeting, and after finishing Netherland and upon the recommendation of a Facebook friend (who says there's no point to getting in touch with people you never spoke to in high school?), I read this. What a kick in the pants. It's sort of an anti-Corrections. What I mean is that the characters in The Corrections rang so true for me that the dialogue sounded like conversations I have had. There is no character in Oscar Wao who bears any resemblance to anyone I have ever encountered, every piece of dialogue astonishing and a surprise, yet I was so drawn in to their stories. My understanding of them was fragmented at best but my experience nonetheless intense. I was up for another helping.
Drown is Diaz's earlier book of short stories, told from the perspective of one of the characters in Oscar Wao. Even better. I'm not the biggest short story reader, often annoyed at the lack of development and closure that can be achieved in such a small dose. Diaz's stories, however, are interconnected and weave what is increasingly an American story, the journey of an immigrant. The stories are brutal, tender, and raw. They leave open many questions, but the questions themselves are part of the story.
So there's my summer reading suggestions. We're on our way to the mountains next week, with half the time camping in Tuolumne Meadows and the other half at Berkeley Tuolumne Camp. Camping is never a great reading time for me: I'm either cooking, cleaning up, or hiking. Not much time spent on the butt. But BTC is another story: Much time spent on the butt while people are paid to cook and entertain kids with endless activities. Even I can relax there, and best with a book in hand and feet in the river.
Since I have not bought a Kindle, I'll be headed to the bookstore in the next few days. Suggestions?