131 pages 4 hours read

Junot Díaz


Fiction | Short Story Collection | Adult | Published in 1995

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Teacher Introduction


  • Genre: Fiction; Short stories
  • Originally Published: 1995
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 830L; Grades 10 and up
  • Structure/Length: Collection of short stories; approximately 240 pages; approximately 7 hours, 25 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The collection of short stories explores the lives of Dominican immigrants and their families in the United States. The stories are often interconnected, sharing themes of identity, culture, displacement, and relationships. While the protagonists and central conflicts vary from story to story, common themes include the challenges of assimilation, the impact of cultural heritage, and the complexities of family dynamics.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Themes of immigration; family struggles; mature content such as sexual assault and domestic violence, references to sexual intercourse, drug usage, housing and food instability, antigay bias, infidelity, and sexist slurs

Junot Díaz, Author

  • Bio: Born 1968; Dominican American author and creative writing professor; known for his unique narrative style, blending English and Spanish language elements; received acclaim for his debut short story collection Drown and his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; addresses themes of cultural identity, masculinity, and the immigrant experience; has contributed essays, stories, and commentary on social and literary topics
  • Other Works: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007); This Is How You Lose Her (2012); Islandborn (2018); Negocios (1999, short story collection); Monstro (2015, graphic novel)