Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top ten bookworms' tales

Niall Williams, a Dublin born writer, has lived in Kiltumper, Co Clare in the west of Ireland for the past 30 years. He is the author of eight novels, three stage plays, four non-fiction works and several screenplays. His new novel is History of the Rain.

One entry on his list of ten of the best books that manage to make heroes out of readers, as shared at the Guardian:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Perhaps the greatest recent addition to the humus of bookworms is Oscar Wao. Oscar's family came from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey. He is a Casanova when he is seven and for one full beautiful week loves two girls, Maritza and Olga. But once his ménage a trois collapses, Oscar retreats from the known world and inhabits another. This one is found in the novels of Lovecraft, Wells, Burroughs, Howard, Alexander, Herbert, Asimov, and others, as well as the comic books that make up the Marvel universe. In Díaz's brilliant narration Oscar's bookwormery and general nerdiness are transformed into something utterly cool.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao also appears among Chrissie Gruebel's nine best last lines in literature, Alexia Nader's nine favorite books about unhappy families, Jami Attenberg's top six books with overweight protagonists, Brooke Hauser's six top books about immigrants, Sara Gruen's six favorite books, Paste magazine's list of the ten best debut novels of the decade (2000-2009), and The Millions' best books of fiction of the millenium. The novel is one of Matthew Kaminski's five favorite novels about immigrants in America and is a book that made a difference to Zoë Saldana.

The Page 99 Test: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

--Marshal Zeringue