[For Dale] OK, so perhaps I took my aversion to reading or watching anything that debuts to great fanfare too far by avoiding Oscar Wao for this long. I just wasn’t expecting it to be that great. I mean, Drown was a solid read, but I didn’t end up thinking about it all that much after finishing it. And to tell you the truth, I was half expecting Wao to be a mildly annoying throwback to nineties-style identity lit. But boy that first chapter is so darn charming. Diaz’s prose just swept me along, page after page. I’m pretty sure I read the beginning with a smile plastered on my face the entire time.

What struck me most about the novel is how its allusions draw from so many different fields of knowledge and experience, that I found myself constantly and alternately pulled in and pushed away by the text. Copious footnotes notwithstanding, so many of his references remained opaque to me (also: totally not motivated to look up all the nerdy sci-fi stuff). I suppose I can bump This is How You Lose Her farther up my reading list.


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