Junot Diaz

The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao

Beli at thirteen believed in love like a seventy-year-old widow who's been abandoned by family, husband, children, and fortune believes in God. (103)

Jose, whose grief had extracted from his body all softness, idle chatter, and hope. (122)

Student today don't mean na', but in a Latin America whipped into a frenzy by the fall of Arbenz, by the Stoning of Nixon, by the Guerrillas of the Sierra Madre, by the endless cynical maneuverings of the Yankee Pig Dogs—in a Latin America already a year and a half into the Decade of the Guerrilla—a student was something else altogether, an agent for change, a vibrating quantum string in the staid Newtonian universe. (127)

But take heart: For every phalanx of nerds who die there are always a few who succeed. Not long after that horrific murder, a whole pack of revolutionary nerds ran aground on a sandbar on the southeast coast of Cuba. Yes, it was Fidel and Revolutionary Crew, back for a rematch against Batista. Of the eighty-two revolutionaries who splashed ashore, only twenty-two survived to celebrate the New Year, including one book-loving argentino. A bloodbath, with Batista's forces executing even those who surrendered. But these twenty-two, it would prove, were enough. (192)

That's life for you. All the happiness you gather to yourself, it will sweep away like it's nothing. If you ask me I don't think there are any such things as curses. I think there is only life. That's enough.