By Sarah Begley
December 20, 2016
IDEAS
Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

Less than 10 years after its original publication, Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao stands as a contemporary American classic. In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award, the bestselling novel has already infiltrated assigned reading lists for high school and college students alike, delighting readers as it blends a story of the Dominican-American experience with magical realism and inarguably terrific writing. It’s hard to imagine how the book could get any better—but fans of Hamilton will be charmed by the new audiobook version, narrated by musical maestro Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In an exclusive excerpt for TIME, Miranda reads from the section where the protagonist Oscar’s mother learns she is pregnant. The narrator explains why she leaked the news to the neighborhood in one of the most frequently quoted lines from the novel: “Success, after all, loves a witness, but failure can’t exist without one.”

The new audiobook, from Penguin Audio, is out Tuesday.

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