Junot Diaz made his remarkable debut as a writer with this collection of stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey.
The stories are all unflinching and strong and Diaz's prose crackles with an electric sense of discovery. In 'Ysrael', two brothers hunt a disfigured boy who hides behind a mask; in 'No Face', the mirror is flipped and the perspective belongs to the tormented. In 'Fiesta 1980', a spirited family gathering plays against the noiseless hum of a father's infidelities. In 'Boyfriend', a young man eavesdrops on the woman next door and colours in the life overheard with his own intense longing.
There is an urgency and clarity to these beautifully crafted stories that renders them entirely of the moment. Diaz has veered off the well-travelled roads of contemporary fiction and captured a range of experience previously uncharted and now emphatically his own.
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