Rediscover: Drown

Dominican-American author Junot Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction with his 2007 novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award for his second short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her, and won a MacArthur Genius Grant. His work reflects the Dominican-American immigrant experience, with frequent parallels to Díaz's own life growing up in the Dominican Republic and New Jersey.

Díaz's debut book was Drown, a collection of 10 short stories published by Riverhead Books in 1996. Many of these stories had previously appeared in the New Yorker, Story magazine and other publications. Five of them are narrated by Yunior, a Dominican-American adolescent with an often absent father, strained relationships with women and a secret sensitive side, who also appears throughout Díaz's other work. Drown sprinkles Spanish slang into a literary look at Dominican-American life that has proved enduringly popular. To mark Drown's 20th anniversary, Riverhead's Tumblr page posted a selection of short essays from the book's fans. Drown was published in paperback in 1997 ($16, 9781573226066). --Tobias Mutter
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