The Center for Fiction 2007 First Novel Prize (then called the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize) was awarded to Junot Díaz for his debut novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead/Penguin). Read about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao below and browse 2007’s shortlisted titles.
This annual award was created in 2006 to honor the best first novel of the year. Debut novels published between January 1 and December 31 of the award year are eligible. The winner is announced in December at our Annual Awards Benefit.
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Riverhead/Penguin)
- Bearing the Body by Ehud Havazelet (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
- Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
- Finn by Jon Clinch (Random House)
- Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon (HarperCollins)
- The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander (Knopf)
- Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (Pantheon)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
By Junot Díaz
Published by Riverhead/Penguin
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukœ-the curse that has haunted the Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.