Book-It Repertory Theatre presents THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Díaz, adapted and directed by Elise Thoron, from April 19 to May 6, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this resource list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

The history and culture of the Dominican Republic loom large in Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer-prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a sweet, awkward and ultimately doomed Dominican geek growing up in New Jersey and his family’s trials in Santo Domingo and the United States.

Many Americans know little about this small but densely populated Caribbean nation and the complex, multifaceted heritage of its people. Here are a few titles in the Library’s collection that will help you learn more about Dominican history, culture and identity and get prepared to see THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO at Book-It Repertory Theatre.

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina by Raquel Cepeda
Like Oscar’s sister Lola, Raquel Cepeda is a Dominican American woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and reclamation of her cultural heritage through her voyages between the Dominican Republic and the United States.

The Dominican Republic Reader
edited by Eric Paul Roorda, Lauren Derby, and Raymundo González
Learn more about the history, culture and politics of Oscar Wao’s homeland with this collection of 118 essays, speeches, articles, poems, short stories and other documents from a variety of Dominican authors.

In The Time of the Butterflies
Based on the Julia Alvarez novel of the same name, this 2001 film starring Salma Hayek dramatizes the lives of the Mirabal sisters (a.k.a. Las Mariposas), who opposed the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and were assassinated in 1960.

 The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
Set in the final days of the Trujillo regime, Vargas Llosa’s fast-paced, gripping novel paints a chilling portrait of the dictator and the pain and suffering he inflicted on ordinary people.

For these suggestions and more, see the complete resource list for Book-It’s THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO.

~posted by Abby B.

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