Welcome to our web casebook on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

  • Welcome to the first-ever critical casebook on Junot Díaz’s 2007 novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. This casebook was written by Millikin University students enrolled in Dr. Tony R. Magagna’s English 202: Writing About Literature course during the Fall 2009 semester. Although Oscar Wao has garnered a great deal of critical acclaim since its publication (including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), there has as yet been little published literary scholarship dedicated to the novel. Thus, the students whose work is collected here have put together this casebook as an effort both to start the scholarly conversation on this text, as well as to showcase their own original critical contributions to the field of literary scholarship. By exploring this website, we hope that you will learn more about this incredible novel and the varied perspectives and themes that it confronts.

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  • Contributors


    See the contributors' photos. Read their bios. Follow links to their essays. More »

  • About Junot Diaz

    Currently, he teaches at MIT and is the fiction editor for the Boston Review. More »

  • About the Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic was discovered by Columbus during his initial expedition in 1492. Christopher Columbus declares it be called La Española,. Santo Domingo, the capital, was discovered in 1496. It is the eldest European land known to the West. More »

Pop Culture References

There are many comic book and sci-fi/fantasy references in Oscar Wao and they are vital to the story. Here are a few that we found to be the most important to know for the story. Continue Reading »


Key Settings & Characters

“…either I’m nobody, or I’m a nation.” –Derek Walcott

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