Drown Summary

Drown is a collection of ten short stories by Junot Díaz. Set alternately in the Dominican Republic and the United States, the collection explores the lives of several young Dominican narrators.

  • In "Ysrael," Yunior's family is living in the Dominican Republic. After previously abandoning the family, Yunior's father returns and moves the family to the United States.
  • In "Drown," a childhood friend of Yunior's visits him. What should be a happy reunion soon becomes tense, and Yunior feels alienated.
  • In "How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie," the second-person narrator instructs readers on how to date women of different races.

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Summary

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Drown is an intensely raw and realistic collection of ten short stories. Although the stories share neither one common protagonist nor one common setting, each story involves a Dominican or Dominican American adolescent male's struggle to survive in the harsh and often violent world of poverty, drugs, and petty crime. Diaz's young protagonists, who live in rural areas of the Dominican Republic or in Dominican neighborhoods of suburban New Jersey, struggle to survive in the face of absent fathers, abject poverty, and tedious jobs.