AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number4. October   2020                            Pp.202-212

Junto Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: A Narrative of Identity and Diaspora

Independent Researcher
Salahuddin, Riyadh 12435. Saudi Arabia


Junto Diaz’s novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao raises the question of the identity formation for the Caribbean in diaspora. Diasporic Caribbean people struggle with understanding their difference and recognizing the important of assimilating to other people’s lives and cultures when they leave their home country. The struggle of the main character, Oscar Wao, in the novel is established perfectly well through apparent identity crisis that is manifested in his cultural displacements, childhood memories, real-life situations, and unsuccessful relationship with the other sex. It is a problem that Oscar creates his passage towards constructing a national identity, which ends in a tragic death. Caribbean people should privilege a hybrid identify if they want to live outside the West Indies. The present article aims to analyze from a postcolonial perspective Oscar’s futile search for national identity in diaspora and its consequences. This is clarified through a discussion of migration, the results of living in diaspora on the identity formation for the main character, relationships with women, and the concept of a return to the homeland.

Cite as:

Almutairi, S. (2020). Junto Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: A Narrative of Identity and Diaspora. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (4) 202-212.


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Samirah Almutairi has a master’s degree in literature from King Saud University. She wrote her
graduate thesis on Caribbean drama. She worked in Princess Nourah Bin Abdulrahman
University and Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University. She taught drama, poetry, advanced
writing, and translation. Her ORCID ID is https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7065-2579