Great collection of stories. One of my favorite writers. Here's something I wrote about it:
Love this book. It’s the first installation of Yunior’s narrative, a collection of stories that cover him as a kid, as a teen, plus stuff about his mother and father and brother. There’s also a story of a masked kid in DR whose face had been bitten off by a pig when he was young and another about the impossibility of fixing the face. In that way, really it’s a book about freedom (or not)–the struggle to become Americanized, the promise of going back home to try and free more people. It’s about men disappointing women and families alike. Everyone just scrambling to survive. Dating bad people, working odd jobs. I remember hearing Junot Diaz say he was annoyed that people paid dirt to the title story “Drown” perhaps because it included confusing gay stuff. But that kind of willful avoidance on the audience’s part does suit the nature of the book.
And here is a general description:
A coming-of-age story of unparalleled power, Drown introduced the world to Junot Díaz's exhilarating talents. It also introduced an unforgettable narrator— Yunior, the haunted, brilliant young man who tracks his family’s precarious journey from the barrios of Santo Domingo to the tenements of industrial New Jersey, and their epic passage from hope to loss to something like love. Here is the soulful, unsparing book that made Díaz a literary sensation.