Negocios (Drown)

Negocios (Drown)

by Junot Díaz
El lector tiene en sus manos una colección de relatos que viene precedida de una enorme expectación. Su autor, seleccionado por Newsweek como uno de los diez nuevos rostros para el noventa y seis, nos transporta desde los pueblos y parajes polvorientos de su tierra natal, la República Dominicana, hasta los barrios industrials y el paisaje urbano


El lector tiene en sus manos una colección de relatos que viene precedida de una enorme expectación. Su autor, seleccionado por Newsweek como uno de los diez nuevos rostros para el noventa y seis, nos transporta desde los pueblos y parajes polvorientos de su tierra natal, la República Dominicana, hasta los barrios industrials y el paisaje urbano de New Jersey, bajo un horizonte de chimeneas humeantes. La obra triunfal que marcó el arranque literario de Junot Díaz puede ahora disfrutarse en una edición en español que conserva en su integridad la fuerza desabrida y la delicadeza del texto original.Los niños y jóvenes que pueblan las páginas de Negocios gravitan sin sosiego por territorios marginales, a mitad de camino entre la inocencia y la experiencia, entre la curiosidad infantil y la crueldad más descarnada. Criados en hogares abandonados por el padre, donde todo se sostiene gracias a la férrea abegación de la madre, estos adolescentes acarician sueños de independencia, asomándose con recelo a un mundo donde intuyen que no hay un lugar reservado para ellos. En estos diez relatos la prosa de Junot Díaz oscila con sabiduría entre el humor, la desolación y la ternura, desplegando en cada página un estilo palpitante de vida.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“En Díaz confluyen la fría mirada del periodista y el cálido aliento del poeta.... Un talento así no puede pasar desapercibido.”—Newsweek“Junot Díaz es un ecritor de reciente aparición y gran valía. Sus personajes tienen vida propia fuera de la página, en el seno de nuestra tradición literaria y en el ámbito de nuestro corazón.”—Walter Mosley
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The 10 tales in this intense debut collection plunge us into the emotional lives of people redefining their American identity. Narrated by adolescent Dominican males living in the struggling communities of the Dominican Republic, New York and New Jersey, these stories chronicle their outwardly cool but inwardly anguished attempts to recreate themselves in the midst of eroding family structures and their own burgeoning sexuality. The best pieces, such as "Aguantando'' (to endure), "Negocios,'' "Edison, NJ'' and the title story, portray young people waiting for transformation, waiting to belong. Their worlds generally consist of absent fathers, silent mothers and friends of questionable principles and morals. Diaz's restrained prose reveals their hopes only by implication. It's a style suited to these characters, who long for love but display little affection toward each other. Still, the author's compassion glides just below the surface, occasionally emerging in poetic passages of controlled lyricism, lending these stories a lasting resonance. BOMC and QPB alternates; foreign rights sold in Holland, Norway, Sweden, the U.K., Spain, France and Germany. (Sept.) FYI: Diaz was the only writer chosen by Newsweek as one of the 10 "New Faces of 1996." Drown is a nominee for the 1997 QPB "New Voices'' award. "Ysrael'' will be included in Best American Short Stories 1996 and "Edison, NJ" will appear in the summer 1996 issue of the Paris Review. Riverhead will publish Diaz's novel, The Cheater's Guide to Love, in 1997.
Library Journal
Diaz has received much pre-publication praise and publicity for this, his first collection, of short stories. Set in his native Dominican Republic or in the Dominican neighborhoods of New Jersey, these stories focus on the carnal aspect of human nature. They graphically depict lives defined by poverty and the cynicism and hardness that can develop from it; the complex nature of relationships, both among peers and within families; and the desperation of those who are enslaved by the American drug culture. Diaz's writing is at times somewhat strained, but he provides convincing portraits of characters attempting to cope with lives which provide them with few advantages and much pain. Recommended for academic libraries.Rebecca Stuhr-Rommereim, Grinnell Coll. Libs., Ia.
Kirkus Reviews
Díaz's first collection of ten stories, some having appeared in the New Yorker and Story, is certain to draw attention for its gritty view of life in the barrios of the Dominican Republic and rough neighborhoods of urban New Jersey.

Most of the stories are linked by their narrator, who spent his first nine years in the D.R., until his father in the States brought the entire family to South Jersey, where he continued to display the survivalist machismo he developed during years of poverty, scamming, and struggle. In the Caribbean pieces, Díaz offers a boy's-eye view of a hardscrabble life. In "Ysrael," the narrator and his brother, sent to the countryside during the summer, plot to unmask a local oddity, a boy whose face was eaten off by a pig in his youth. Much later in the volume, "No Face" reappears, surviving the taunts of the locals as he waits for his trip to America, where surgeons will work on his face. "Arguantando" documents life in the barrio, where the narrator, his brother, and his mother eke out an existence while hearing nothing from the father. "Negocios" explains why: Robbed of his savings in the US, the father schemes to marry a citizen in order to become one himself, all the time thinking of his family back home. He is hardly a saint, and, reunited in New Jersey, the family is dominated by his violent temper. "Fiesta, 1980" recalls the narrator's bouts of car sickness, for which his father shows no sympathy. In the remaining tales, a teenaged Dominican drug dealer in New Jersey dreams of a normal life with his crackhead girlfriend ("Aurora"); a high-school dealer is disturbed by his best friend's homosexuality ("Drown"); and "How to Date . . ." is a fractured handbook on the subtleties of interracial dating.

Díaz's spare style and narrative poise make for some disturbing fiction, full of casual violence and indifferent morality. A debut calculated to raise some eyebrows.

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Spanish-language Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.51(d)

What People are saying about this

Francisco Goldman
"Junot Diaz stories are as vibrant, tough, unexotic, in these forrest of setting - Santo Domingo, Dominican Nueva York, the immigrant neightborhoods of industrial New Jersey with their gorgeously polluted skyscapes. Places and voices move along with a churring yet classically imagined: coming-of-age stories tell of wild humor, intelligence, rage and piercing tenderness. And this is just the beginning. Diaz stands to be a giant of American prose."

Meet the Author

Junot Díaz es el autor de una colección de relatos Negocios, y sus obras han aparecido en New Yorker, The Paris Review, y la antología de los mejores relatos breves Best American Short Stories. Ha recibido el Premio Pen/ Malamud, el Premio de Ficción del National Books Critics Circle, el Premio Anisfield-Wolf y el Premio Pulitzer de Ficción. Nació en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, creció en Nueva Jersey, y vive entre Nueva York y Boston, donde es editor de ficción de la revista Boston Review y profesor en la universidad MIT.

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