Drown is a collection of ten short stories set alternately in the Dominican Republic and the Dominican neighborhoods of New Jersey. Many of the stories are narrated by Yunior, a kind of alter-ego of the author, Junot Díaz.
- In the first story, "Ysrael," Yunior and his brother Rafa are living in the Dominican Republic. Their father has abandoned them, and their mother has sent them to live with a relative while she works long hours at a chocolate factory. Then one day Yunior's father returns and moves the family to the United States.
- In the title story, "Drown," an old friend of Yunior's visits from college. Yunior feels alienated from his friend, remembering the last summer they spent together and the sexual experiences they shared.
- In "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie," the second-person narrator gives the reader instructions on how to date the different kinds of women in the title.