This is a great book about the life of Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in New Jersey.

he's obsessed fantasy novels and falling in love. Love was a curse that ruled his family. The middle sections of the novel center on the lives of Oscar's runaway sister, Lola; his mother, Hypatia Belicia Cabral; and his grandfather, Abelard. Rife with footnotes, science fiction and fantasy references, comic book analogies, and various Spanish dialects, the novel is also a meditation on story-telling, the Dominican diaspora and identity, masculinity, and oppression. Most of the story is told by an apparently narrator who is eventually revealed to be Yunior de Las Casas, a college roommate of Oscar's who dated Lola. Yunior also appears in many of Diaz's short stories.

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