->"Of what import are brief, nameless lives... to '''{{Galactus}}'''??"
-->--Creator/StanLee and Creator/JackKirby, ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', (Vol. I, No. 49, April 1966)

-> They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. ''Fuká americanus'', or more colloquially, fuká-- generally a curse or a doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World.

''The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao'' is a 2007 novel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Junot Díaz. The story is centered around the character Oscar de León, a [[OneOfUs consummate scifi and fantasy geek]] with horrendous luck with women who wants to be the Dominican Creator/JRRTolkien. The story is told through his former roommate at Rutgers, Yunior, who comes off as a [[JerkAss bit dickish]] when he is first introduced into the story, but [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold grows into a better person]] by the time he is writing the novel. Yunior tells the story of Oscar's life (and [[OhAndXDies death]]) by tracing Oscar's story through his sister Lola, his mother Hypatá Belicia Cabral (or Beli for short), and his grandfather Abelard Cabral's own tragic tales.

Between all of the geek references, untranslated Spanish, slang, and footnotes, you might get lost in the text and believe that Díaz [[ViewersAreGeniuses assumes too much]] from the reader, or that he is aiming to disorient the reader. However, understanding all of his references [[GeniusBonus doesn't add much to understanding the text]].

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!!This book contains examples of -

* AllGirlsWantBadBoys - Played straight, subverted and deconstructed all in the same book.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished - Averted with Beli who has oil scars all over back and later has to have one of her breasts removed.
* BigBad- You could argue that Trujillo or the fukú curse fulfill this role.
* BigBreastPride - Beli becomes ''extremely'' well-endowed when she [[SheIsAllGrownUp hits puberty]]. [[DCupDistress She's initially ashamed about her breasts]], but soon begins flaunting them when she realizes that they make men fall all over her. Her daughter Lola, on the other hand, is as flat as a board but became just as well-endowed in a different area.
* BigDamnHeroes - José Then and the rest of Belicia's old coworkers, who put themselves in danger of great harm by saving her life from some secret police thugs. José even pulls a pistol and jams it against one of their heads.
* BilingualBonus - Several of the untranslated Spanish phrases give better insight to the character's emotions as well as providing additional context.
* BittersweetEnding - [[spoiler:Oscar is no longer a virgin and found someone who he could get intimate with, but in doing so he got himself killed. Beli a died from breast cancer. Lola and Yunior marry other people, and Oscar's manuscript on his family's history is lost, possibly forever. But Oscar found love!]]
* BlackAndNerdy - Oscar falls into this category.
* TheBlank - The Man Without a Face appears during times of tragedy in the de León family.
* CulturalRebel - Oscar fit the profile to a T; Lola too, to a lesser degree.
* {{Curse}} - Fukú may or may not be real, but Oscar and his family certainly get into some deep deep shit.
* DirtyCop - Ybon's boyfriend is a thug with a badge.
* DrivenToSuicide - Oscar attempts this before moving in with Yunior, and again after [[spoiler:he caught Jenni having sex with a punk guy]]. He fails both times.
* EvilOverlord - Trujillo certainly fits the bill. He is directly compared to Darkseid and Sauron.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin - The word "Brief" being in the title isn't for show.
* FootnoteFever - Quite unusual for a work of fiction. You'll either LoveItOrHateIt.
* FunnyAfro - Oscar eventually gets rid of it.
* GeekPhysiques - Oscar weighs over 300 pounds for most of his life.
* GeekReferencePool - Listing all of the references that Yunior includes to various aspects of GeekCulture would take a page unto itself. But that doesn't mean we are not going to try -
** Manga/{{Akira}}
** TheDarkKnightReturns
** TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons
** ComicBook/FantasticFour
** NewGods
** ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}
** Literature/TheLordOfTheRings and TheSilmarillion
** Literature/{{Dune}}
** Creator/HPLovecraft
** ComicBook/LoveAndRockets
** Daniel Clowes
** ComicBook/TheSandman
** Creator/JohnKricfalusi (misspelled "Krikfalusi")
* GratuitousSpanish - See BilingualBonus.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold - Ybon.
* InLoveWithTheGangstersGirl - Oscar with Ybon.
* LonelyFuneral - Oscar's funeral at the end of the novel is attended only by Yunior, Lola, Beli and La Inca.
* LonersAreFreaks - Oscar.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy - Oscar, so very much. We see in a flashback that he inherited this trait from his mother Beli, who nearly got killed because of it. [[spoiler:Oscar is even less lucky.]]
* MagicRealism
* AManIsNotAVirgin - [[spoiler:Oscar before he is executed by Ybon's boyfriend's goons.]]
* NamedLikeMyName - Óscar de León, the main character, has the name of a famous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_D%27Le%C3%B3n salsa singer]]. This is, though, never mentioned in the book.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast- Trujillo.
* NarratorAllAlong - Yunior.
* NerdsAreVirgins - UpToEleven.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown - Both Oscar and his mother, Beli, receive one in the very same place.
* NWordPrivileges - The N-word is used very liberally in the book.
* PyrrhicVictory - Oscar finds love...[[spoiler:and then is killed brutally]].
* QuestForSex
* SenseiForScoundrels - Yunior tries this with Oscar and fails utterly.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan - Oscar and Yunior definitely fall into these categories.
* SheIsAllGrownUp - Jacquelyn and Beli blossom almost overnight from skinny girls into stunningly beautiful and well-endowed teenagers, although it doesn't do them much good in the long run. ''Especially'' for Jacquelyn and her poor doomed family in the Age of [[KavorkaMan Trujillo]].
* SoBeautifulItsACurse - Jacquelyn and Beli are both stunning, and their beauty wins them all the wrong kinds of attention.
* ShoutOut - The title is an allusion to the Creator/ErnestHemingway story, ''The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber''.
* StalkingIsLove - Oscar is very... persistent to say the least, with Ybon.
* TooDumbToLive - Oscar's attempts to persuade Ybon to ditch her husband for him, despite him nearly being killed by his goons before escaping to America and the persuasions of those closest to him not to go through with the act. [[UnfortunateImplications You can probably guess what happens next]].
* YouCantGoHomeAgain - Averted, Beli and her family go back to Santo Domingo every year for vacation.

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