Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. 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 Fuku: the curse that has haunted 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.
Perry's IQ is only 76, but he's not stupid. His grandmother taught him everything he needs to know to survive: she taught him to write things down so he won't forget them. She taught him to play the lottery every week. And, most important, she taught him whom to trust. When Gram dies, Perry is left orphaned and bereft at the age of 31. Then his weekly Washington State Lottery ticket wins him 12 million dollars, and he finds he has more family than he knows what to do with.
Barlowe, a single African-American in his 40s, shares a ramshackle house with his 20-something nephew in the old Fourth Ward of downtown Atlanta. When Sean and Sandy, a white married couple from Philadelphia, buy and renovate the house next door in anticipation of a neighborhood "turnaround", everyone tries at first to go about their daily business. But fear and suspicion begin to build as more and more new whites move in and make changes, and once familiar people and places disappear.
"A look at Race Issues"
When his girlfriend takes a job in Thailand, Mischa Berlinski goes along for the ride, working for one of Thailand's English-language newspapers. One evening a fellow expatriate tips him off to a story. A charismatic American anthropologist has been found dead, a suicide, in the Thai prison where she was serving a 50-year sentence for murder. Motivated first by simple curiosity, then by deeper and more mysterious feelings, Mischa searches relentlessly to discover the details of her crime.
"WOW WOW WOW"