Introduction to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao


In addition to the in-depth scholarly essays presented here, you will find background information that we feel is useful to understanding and appreciating Diaz’s work. This includes: biographical information on Díaz himself; a brief history of the Dominican Republic; contextual information on many of the key popular culture references in the book; a look at some of the major settings and characters in the novel; and a collection of links to useful resources elsewhere on the internet, including interviews, reviews, and video clips.

All of the information and scholarship presented in this casebook was selected or generated by the EN202 students themselves. The website itself was designed and published in collaboration with a team of student web designers from the Fall 2009 EN305: Web Publishing course, taught by Dr. Devon Fitzgerald.

Oscar Wao: A Critical Casebook joins two other casebooks produced by students in Millikin University’s English department. Dr. Carmella Braniger’s Fall 2007 students focused on Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, and Dr. Michael O’Conner’s Fall 2006 students studied Margaret Atwood’s novel Oryx and Crake.


  “The only way out is in. And that’s what I guess these stories are all about.” –Lola de León