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This Is How You Lose Her is another blast of ingenious storytelling from the talented Junot Diaz. In 1997 he walloped the literary landscape and established his name as a meteoric presence with Drown, a collection of gritty stories centering on Dominican American immigrants and culture. Not until a decade later did he finish his next work, the acclaimed novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which recounts in ecstatic prose the tragedies that befall a first generation Dominican American family. With this collection of stories, Diaz continues to explore his trademark themes of hardship, loss, failure, and resilience in the lives of Dominican American characters.
Each of the stories focuses on individuals confronting tough times and the consequences of their choices, especially in regards to love and relationships. The central figure and narrator for several of the pieces is the incomparable Yunior. His voice ranks among the most distinctive and inimitable in modern literature. Through his perspective, Diaz gives us an uncensored glimpse into the lives of a community of men and women battling through the riotous terrain of love from both the emotional and carnal side. Diaz does not hold back with his oftentimes salacious details of love. He navigates the perils of sex and relationships with complete honesty and openness. He is a genius of language, most notably with the peerless voice of Yunior. Diaz’s literary abilities allow him to employ a poetical style that places him in a league of his own. His prose is like wildfire, tearing through everything and leaving you unsettled.
With some of America’s literary giants such as Morrison, McCarthy, and Doctorow now in the twilight of their careers, I feel comfortable with Diaz blazing the trail for the next generation of great writers to follow. We can only hope Diaz continues to produce work in the decades ahead that resonates with the same uproarious energy for life as he does in This Is How You Lose Her. I can hardly wait for his next work.
Diaz grapples with toxic masculinity, writing about love, mistakes, and the unflattering and unfair things people do when they're led by emotion. For some readers, the sordid-macho perspective is too much of a turn off. That's fair. There is, though, a complex and perhaps necessary confrontation of cultural and sexual norms. Nevertheless, Diaz manages to craft a vivid,animated-- and of course funny-- story, as one would expect.
Hide your sisters and daughters, it's the return of Yunior. It's almost as if he swaggered straight out of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, taking center stage in his own collection of disastrous love stories. Diaz does brilliant job warming you up to this intelligent, tender hearted, electric oversexed world of Dominican trouble... We meet Yunior's lovers through individual stories that are heart wrenching, hilarious, and absolutely deplorable. And yet, we still like him. A painfully fun read.
Diaz uses common vernacular in beautiful rhythm that causes his writing to be raw and visceral. This book is sensual and the stories add depth to each other, as well as his other work. This is the first Diaz book I've read and I will definitely be reading more.
It's easy to dismiss Diaz as a womanizing jerk given the subject matter of his novels. This one is no different. I wasn't sure what to think of Diaz myself until I met him. And once you can separate the author from the character, it's much easier to enjoy the wonderful writing. This Is How You Lose Her is perhaps his best.
I cannot get enough of Junot Diaz's writing. Emotional, simple, powerful, raw.
If you are in the mood for male angst. Unique voice, great accomplishment.
NYPL Staff Pick
A collection of stories, a womanizing New Jersey Dominican reflects on his romantic adventures.
- Selection Team
Very interesting set of intertwined short stories. Language and settings more suitable for an older audience.
Certainly these short stories are very well written, but why celebrate infidelity and this aspect of Dominican culture?
Awesome read! I was captivated from the first chapter. A little vulgar but it makes the whole story come to life. The Spanish inserts as well make you feel the culture around Yunior. Not a male read at all women to should read it too, gives humorous insight to the sexual mindset of a man
I read Oscar Wao and from there wanted to read the rest of Diaz' works. I will say although the language was vulgar I thought it suited the context it was in. I'm a woman by the way and I didnt find it a book only males would be interested in. To me it never seemed like Yunior celebrated his ways and I thought it was great that all of his actions displayed the the awful consequences that followed. I really liked the book !!
Junot Diaz's latest returns to the familiar territory of his debut short story collection, "Drown." These are earthy, sometimes vulgar stories of love, sex and all the ways it can go wrong. I agree with one of the commentators, that it's a very male book and you won't find many well-drawn female characters in hear. Then again, the male characters are pretty shallow too. The final story is the strongest. I preferred his novel.
This collection of interconnected stories gets better and better as you go on. When you finish the last story, you feel like you're parting with someone you have known for a long time.
When I first started reading the book I thought, "Oh no, what have I picked up". That was likely because he swears a lot in the stories. Once I got over that I really enjoyed his writing style and especially enjoyed his Spanglish interjections going back and forth which added more color and drama to his style. In the end I understood why it was titled, "This is how you loose her" because at the end of each story everyone lost something including his madre, his hermano, his novias as well as himself. Good read on struggle, love and adjustment.
Diaz is indisputably a master of language, but his pyrotechnics seem to me to get in the way of the stories. The stories themselves are interesting to a point, brimming with a certain charm, but also mental and emotional squalor, pyrotechnicly recounted of course. The Dominican Diaspora might still be waiting for its poet, but this is still good reading.
A great mix of stories on love and life and what it means to grow up. Enjoyed the book immensely.
Not a fan of this one. It's confusing and unorganized. Story lines and characters lack development. It felt like the author's journal and a publisher's rush for a follow-up book.
As a Dominican-American woman who was born and raised in Boston, now based in Cambridge (Hrvd Sq), 'This is How You Lose Her' is a picture perfect depiction of Dominican men and woman (to an extent) in this country. The culture that surrounds the lifestyles of Yunior and all of the women he encounters and surrounds himself with tell more about the Dominican culture than anyone or anything can describe in words. From Diaz's descriptions of white girls, to his depictions of Yunior's headstrong/reserved mother and her 'Hallelujah crew', could not have been described more perfectly. The diction in this novel is also carefully chosen to perfection and I found myself laughing-out-loud at many of the phrases and references made towards the culture. From the character POV to the chapter layout, all was well done. The raunchy love stories between each individual woman portrays the beauty and tragedy that embody all that it means to be a Dominican-American living on the East coast.
In my opinion, many of the readers do not know enough about the Dominican culture in order to grasp the full realm of what Diaz was aiming to convey here.
Outstanding read! Extremely recommended to all with an open mind and an interest in dipping into the culture and lifestyle of this ethnicity :)