Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

This Is How You Lose Her

Rate this book
On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness—and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

217 pages, Hardcover

First published March 22, 2010

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Junot Díaz

60 books6,710 followers
Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Díaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
24,767 (25%)
4 stars
36,279 (37%)
3 stars
23,879 (24%)
2 stars
7,991 (8%)
1 star
3,039 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,906 reviews
Profile Image for Gatamadrizgmail.com.
64 reviews7 followers
October 11, 2012
This is a collection of short stories about Yunior. Yunior is a louse. All the men in his life are serial cheaters from his father to his brother to his best friend. Yes, there is a pitch that this is part of the Dominican Culture -- but frankly I can speak with women friends of mine from France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Germany and England and every single one of them knows this guy or has dated this clown. He screws around on women, and when he is caught and discarded there is great chest thumping and hair tearing and he learns...nothing.

Mr. Diaz provides imagery fireworks -- great use of language, flying sentences, created a real louse of a character (Yunior) who keeps you reading because, well it's like watching a bad driver wreck his same car in the same way 5 or six times.

My big problem with this book is that is left me unmoved and oddly unfeeling, considering the subject matter. Took me a while to figure it out.

There is not one fully drawn women character in any of these stories. In fact, there is one story that took me until page six to figure out it was supposed to be a female character. The women are merely devices to allow Yunior to react to something. Even he, Mr Diaz, on his website talks about his inability to create female characters -- he's male. Had the writer gotten past this, as many male writers do, he coud have opened up the story to a real look at this explosive topic.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
329 reviews270 followers
December 4, 2013
This is how you lost me. You gave me flat characters powered by preoccupations with sex and body parts, especially bushy hair, peppered the prose with Spanish words that were often slangy or derogatory, and allowed superficial, albeit energetic, descriptions of shallow thoughtlessness to masquerade as gritty literary style.

I am puzzled as to why I feel so far off the general opinion of the literary pundits who widely praise this book. I do wonder if it is because of my utter lack of exposure to any Spanish or Hispanic culture. That differs markedly from the USA, where varying degrees of Hispanic influence are ubiquitous, and this in turn may inform an American reader's interpretation and reaction. Perhaps I lack the cultural tools to appreciate it.

Nonetheless, I didn't like it. These stories left me either cold or irritated, usually the latter, and they were not redeemed by insight, poetic prose, unusual characters or stories. I had the same response to Drown and hoped, even expected, that it was a one-off, but now I can say with certainty that I do not like Diaz's writing.
Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews720 followers
January 18, 2017
"This is how you lose her"
True dat. This is exactly how you lose me.

I usually like to start my reviews (rants) with a quote, since this involved words such as bitches, n****rs, sluts, in almost every single sentence, i think i'll just skip that part. Not that there was worth quoting anything in here anyway.

Here is the thing, i get tremendously excited when my real life friends recommend me a book, especially if it's a guy friend. No, no, i am not sexist by any means, i just like seeing what men find interesting in fiction when they aren't babbling about Star Wars. My great friend, William, lend me his copy and i couldn't wait to dive into it. It's a small book. 200 pages or so. Mind you, i read HP and Goblet of Fire in less than two days, so this looked like a piece of cake to me. BOY OH BOY! Was i wrong, or was i fucking wrong?! Reading this was a struggle! I hate everything about it. I couldn't read a single page without making that face... you know? No? Here, let me show you:

Not sure what kind of audience this book targets, but it definitely wasn't for me! I'm not very familiar with Dominican culture, nor am i going to sit here and act like an expert on the subject. All i know is, i despised the main character and hated almost every women he dated. Everyone is ghetto AF. If someone cheated on you, why on earth would you ever give them a second chance? Particularly, someone like this guy. I just don't get it. I really don't.

Allow me to give you a sneak peek.

Later, kids. And remember, if you love yourself, stay as far as possible from this book.
Profile Image for Roger DeBlanck.
Author 6 books121 followers
December 29, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Rowena.
500 reviews2,464 followers
November 20, 2012
I had the honour of attending Junot Diaz's author talk late last month here in Vancouver. He was reading excerpts from the first three of the short stories in this book (The Sun, The Moon, The Stars; Nilda and Alma). I was honestly struck by how emphatically he read his own stories, even more impressed that I remembered his cadences. He is a gifted orator, as well as a storyteller.

As mentioned, this is a collection of short stories. They all feature a young Dominican-American man named Yunior, the narrative persona Diaz uses in most of his work. The main motif of the stories is cheating. Other themes include immigration keeping families apart, patriarchy, racism and colourism.

Why I love this book is that Diaz incorporates so many different style of language in it. In the same paragraph he may use "street-slang", Spanish expressions, as well as erudite expressions. The way he organizes it is witty and very timely; I burst out laughing more than once while reading the stories.

Why I admire Diaz so much as an author is his need to challenge simplistic knowledge in his books. He says he's obsessed (his word choice) with patriarchy and by how masculinity interacts in society. His stories also contain colourism issues and during his talk he talked about the prevalence of skin bleaching, what he believed was a result of the power of eurocentrism and was something we despise talking about. In his own words, it's more hidden that Sauron and Voldermot!

Just a disclaimer: there are a lot of swear words, racial epithets and relatively graphic sexual references in this book.

If I can figure out how to add photos to my review, I will.
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,855 followers
February 7, 2017
1.) Misogyny. Women are just fucktoys. Men are not loyal, never will be loyal, and women shouldn't expect them to be. Men will cheat and fuck anything that moves until they die. Just the way it is. There's no such thing as a loyal husband or boyfriend.

Women have no personalities or character traits. Instead they are distinguished by their body parts, "the one with the small breasts," "the one with the wide hips," "the one with the gigantic ass."

2.) The world is pain. Everything is terrible. There is no good in the world, it's a never-ending cesspool of misery. “Life sucks and then you die” is really not a message I stand behind.

3.) I speak Spanish, so I was fine, but if you don't understand Spanish I can see getting very annoyed with this book. He flips back and forth from Spanish to English all the time.

Even though Díaz is a smart and capable author, all I felt reading this was mild frustration. I didn't feel sad, I didn't really connect to any of the characters. The never-ending misogyny and the unrelenting stupidity (as in “inability to learn anything”, not book smarts) of the main character were annoying and didn't make for any kind of good storyline or plot. If you could even claim this book has a storyline or plot, which I find doubtful.

Tl;dr – Plotless, misogynistic garbage with a dismal worldview.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,194 reviews9,459 followers
June 22, 2013

The straight reviewers (meaning non-GR) have curled up and just about died of pure pleasure from reading this book, but I was not quite so jaw on the floor, for me it was a little bit Junot Diaz’s difficult third album. 1996, 2007, 2012 – three books, not big ones either, in 15 years. If Junot Diaz was a singer songwriter he’d be Kate Bush. He takes forever on his stuff. It reads extremely fast, goes down like alcopop, but you know it’s meticulous. He keens over every word, and the words are good.

I dock a star for three reasons. First, it’s a stifling book. We’re up close and breathing the frowsy sweat of the unloveliest parts of male macho attitude in all of these stories, every one. I found a quote from Diaz:

The question was always, for someone like me: What is the role of a male artist in the feminist struggle? We can’t be feminists, I think. Our privilege prevents us. We can be feminist-aligned in some way. And so the women kept saying to us dudes, the best thing you can do is draw maps of masculine privilege. You can go places we can’t. Draw maps so when we drop the bombs, they land accurate.

So, you can see these stories as accurate maps for the feminists, but cher professor, do they need any more maps?? Those feminists have had plenty to go on, all the way from Henry Miller to Brett Easton Ellis, their hard drives are crammed with gigabytes of misogynism, ain’t no need for no more, I thinks.

On the other hand, you have to write what you know. That is so.

Second, and this is just me the Anglo Monolingual Saxon speaking, I found the many sentences like this a bit questionable –

Dude was figureando hard. Had always been a papi chulo, so of course he dove right back into the grip of his old sucias.

Yes, the authentic vibe, and all that, but it’s spread on thick with a damned trowel just a bit. It’s a humble reader opining here, what do I know, JD could slug me on the bean with his Pulizer any day.

And three, I have a personal beef with second-person narration – “you do this, you say that” which is employed way too much, although once is way too much for me. Why don’t I like it? Because I keep snapping at the story “stop telling me what to do all the time!”

This is turning into My Year of Great American Short Story Collections so JD has got some serious, serious competition – Alyssa Nutting, George Saunders, Frank Bill, Jordan Harper and Donald Ray Pollock – and by the way it kind of bugs me that these writers (Saunders excepted) don’t get none of the big yes! Yes! Yes! litgasm of love JD gets, he’s good, great even, but so are these others.

This book is festooned with the kind of zingers which will put a smile on any reader’s face :

In her mind a woman with no child could only be explained by vast untrammelled calamity.
Maybe she just doesn’t like children.
Nobody likes children, your mother assured you. That doesn’t mean you don’t have them.

Or, describing a depression

Like someone flew a plane into your soul.

In this collection, JD gives us close-up focus on Yunior (his alter ego), his ma, his pa, his doomed brother Rafa, and their many girlfriends; the area of investigation is male sexuality, sub-category heterosexual, sub-sub category, Dominican, sub-sub-sub category American-Dominican. In fact the focus is so close that everything else is very hazy; in the stories about the grown up Yunior, it’s only mentioned in passing that he’s an academic; he seems to transform from ghetto boy to professor without any intervening stages, like Clark Kent nipping into the phone box. Well, it's not an autobiography. But it does seem to be semi-autobiographical, everyone says so, and therefore I wonder wonder wonder about the last story “The Cheater’s Guide to Love” – even if only faintly factual it boggles my brain – could you really spoilery spoilery and your inamorata be completely ignorant about it? So many for so long? And yet she went to Harvard? If so, what does that say for the rest of us?

Answer : not a lot.

Profile Image for David Dacosta.
Author 3 books41 followers
September 21, 2012
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

How does an author follow up a Pulitzer Prize winning novel? For one thing, you’d hope that under no circumstances they would attempt to replicate the work. Junot Diaz has come full circle and returned to his writing roots. Like his debut collection of short stories Drown, Diaz’s third literary outing, This Is How You Lose Her, is also comprised of short stories, but these revolve around the love life of Yunior, the character who surfaced in Drown and the author’s breakout novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. This Is How... can best be described as a spinoff. The unapologetic use of the word nigger and the raw sexual references that Diaz has become known for are also back for a second occasion.

Short story collections are usually hit and miss. You’ll find yourself reading one story and be completely engrossed and not want it to end. Then the next moment you’ll question the very inclusion of another story. This Is How follows this pattern. The book begins with the story The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, a tale of infidelity and karmic justice. Yunior has a bleeding heart girlfriend in Magdalena; forgiving, in attendance every Sunday for Spanish Mass, super sensitive and according the author, “Takes to hurt the way water takes to paper.” Much to Yunior’s chagrin, Magda, as she’s affectionately known, receives an anonymous letter from a girl Yunior has been secretly seeing behind her back. The relationship between Yunior and Magda subsequently takes a turn for the worse after this revelation.

Alma ends almost as soon as in begins. Yunior is found to be a cheater by yet another girlfriend; Alma, summarized as ‘a comic-book-reading alternatinas with a big Dominican ass.’ The four page story, despite its abbreviated length, manages to paint a detailed portrait of a young academic minded Latina, who’s adored for the dimensions of her plump backside, and ultimately betrayed by her philandering partner. Yunior receives the brunt of Alma’s ire for his acts of indiscretion.

Readers are introduced to Yunior’s Cancer plagued and equally antagonistic older brother, Rafa, in the story Nilda. The Pura Principle revists the plight of Yunior`s sibling in an expanded treatment. Here we are given a clear glimpse into their family dynamics. Due to her initial fears of not being able to conceive, Yunior`s mother regards her first offspring Rafa as a miracle child of sorts and following his birth he instantly becomes the apple of her eye. However, this maternal bond is now being threatened by each irrational decision of Rafa`s while in the throes of the Big C; namely his choice to date, Pura, an opportunistic Dominican mother of two young children desperately seeking citizenship in America.

In the end it really doesn’t matter what type of book Diaz decided to write as the follow up to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. And despite the fact that This Is How... is not a novel, it will still draw unfair comparisons to its predecessor. I’m neither unimpressed nor blown away by This Is How. It certainly deserves credit for its unique construction. Diaz is one of Caribbean literature’s most fearless voices in terms of his use of language. His absolute disregard for the notion of offensive content is refreshing. You’ll either love his style or be repulsed by it. There’s no real middle ground.

Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,819 followers
December 7, 2012
Junot Diaz brings back Yunior from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as the narrator for most of the stories but leaves out the Dominican history and the geek references. Instead we get to read about heartbreak, infidelity, remorse, alienation and cancer.

You know, the stuff that makes life worth living.

Taken as a whole, these powerful stories give us a history for Yunior as he grows up in Jersey as a Dominican immigrant dealing with his family and his tendency to cheat on the women in his life until one betrayal too many sends him into a downward spiral that seemingly lasts for years.

The odd thing here is that I never felt that depressed or sad while reading. It isn’t that Diaz doesn’t create sympathy for his characters. He does, and he does it often. So even though the stories are pretty ugly on one level, the writing flows so well that it never felt like I was stuck in a dark place even though they aren’t exactly cheerful reads.

Believe the hype.
Profile Image for Nat.
553 reviews3,177 followers
August 1, 2018
Nine interlinked short tales chronicling ruined relationships, cheating, death, family, and more. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

“And that’s when I know it’s over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it’s the end.”

This being my first read by Junot Diaz, I was in for a pleasant surprise regarding the writing and the tempo of each tale. The author specializes in making his short stories fly by. However, I had a hard time reading most of these tales of cheating and feeling literally zero remorse for it... And even going so far as to say that "it was just a mistake." I have only one thing in mind for people that use that heinous excuse:

description description description description description description description

And I just wish the women in this collection could've listened to Dua Lipa's New Rules:

description description description description

Side note on the above song: I recently discovered this feminist, girl-power bop, and I'm completely digging it. It's been on repeat for days now. Not only is the aesthetic on point in the music video (those color coordinations!!!), but Dua Lipa's singing voice is one not to be trifled with.

Circling back to the actual story collection: While the first handful of stories were capturing and different enough to keep me interested, once the narrator became the same one for each coming tale I grew quite over it. Following Yunior from a teen to adulthood didn't end up working in my favour, since his character wasn't that intriguing to see developed over the course of a number of stories. And neither his family nor his romantic partners kept me intrigued enough, so I was disappointed with the second half of this collection.

This Is How You Lose Her is, however, a striking introduction to the author's immaculately curated writing style. I'm not sure, however, if I'll be eager to check out Junot Diaz's other books in the near future. Mainly because the short stories left me extremely underwhelmed with the characters as a whole. So only time will tell on this one.

2.5/5 stars 

Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying This Is How You Lose Her, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission!

Support creators you love. Buy a Coffee for nat (bookspoils) with http://Ko-fi.com/bookspoils
Profile Image for Karel.
279 reviews63 followers
March 22, 2013
a.k.a The Various Sexcapades of Yunior and Other Dominican Men.

I can praise this. I can even say that it shows you a more accurate representation of what love is than a hell lot of books out there.

But I won't.

Yunior, so funny and eloquent in Oscar Wao, is only amusing at best here. From start to end, it's just an unemotional, cold, and distant narration of who he fucked and who he cheated on and what he did to win them back - only to lapse back into the habit like gamblers and alcoholics.

There might be something profound here, about life and loss and all the other rot, but I'm afraid the message was not received. I am not touched. I am not brooding. I do not feel different. The one message that the book tried to hand me was completely redundant. Don't cheat, it says. It will fuck up your life.

No shit, Sherlock.

Profile Image for Kellie Lambert.
32 reviews5 followers
September 28, 2012
Released September 11, I heard a a lot of hype for this book by Junot Diaz. I wanted to see--what is all the fuss about? Why did this jump to the top of the NY Bestseller List?

I think I can tell you. In my best bookish librarian voice: the writing is raw. Eye-opening. It shifts between several different love stories, some unrequited, some failed...some still standing. I felt as if the narrator was sitting with me on the stoop of some NY slum, telling me about this girlfriend. Or this story that just happened last week at school---or how their heart is broken. The narrators confide in you, shock you, and involve you in each of their stories. It's a close-up look at Dominican life in New York, and some of the stories were heart-wrenching. The relationships, poverty, the racism--but it didn't address these topics in a high school-history class kinda way.

Was this the best book I've read this year? No. Was it fantastic writing, choice prose? Yes. Could I recommend it to everyone? No. Sexual content and language make this a very gritty story--I found it to be compelling and eye-opening, but it's not for your conservative book club. I looked up a review when I finished because I was a bit puzzled as to what my take-away was (love is depressing? life is a B? stay in your home country, America doesn't have the answers?) and this one was great. Take a peek at it if you want some crafty, real writing that makes you say, How did Diaz make me feel like I was in the room with him? Can I write characters that real?

(3.75 out of 5 stars)

See my other reviews at eatpaintread.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Maria.
47 reviews3 followers
September 13, 2012
Junot Diaz has always been a favorite author of mine, ever since college when he came to the Latin-American lit class I was taking in '98. By that time, I had already read Drown and was on my way to reading Negocios, the Spanish translation of Drown, expertly done by my lit. professor, Mr. Eduardo Lago (even the colloquialisms and the SHUCO-ness, the grit, the sarcasm, the naughtiness, came through, which I know, as an amateur translator myself, is supremely tough to accomplish).

Diaz's language, dialogue, place, every ounce of passion and work he puts into his writing, it is all fresh, and so it will be when I reread This Is How You Lose Her next year, and the next, and so on. It takes a very talented writer to give his readers a different glimpse of the same character, Yunior, who pops up everywhere, starting with Drown. Every time he shows up, a layer of Yunior is peeled back. He's an onion - everytime you peel back a layer, you feel like crying a little. Notice here that Yunior's girls - his sucias - and his friends revolve around him, but the family stays the same, close to him, living in the back of his head - dando consejos (giving advice), for better or for worse, and sometimes ruling him. The mark of a great author is the characters he crafts, and Diaz is a writer who blows the best of them out of the water on that count.

Diaz has an amazing ability to evoke emotion like few others can - you pull for Yunior and his boys. You pray for Rafa yet, like Mami, are almost constantly disgusted with him at the same time - so you say your prayer for him then hold up your hand like you are going to smack him silly. You want to hug Yunior's girls, tell them you've been there, hold their hands, tell them that even the smartest women can be easily fooled by a charming man. Mami....like many Latina wives and mothers, she makes suffering her claim to fame, sacrifice and guilt trips her job, but she has a sharp mind and is far from a hopeless case. you can never count her out. And Papi, it's like Yunior said in Fiesta, 1980 (a story in Drown) - you just look at his belly button because you're afraid of looking him in the eye.

You know you could never live the way some of those characters live or in the places they live, yet people stronger than you do that every day. When you have hope and faith, so do they. There is a common thread that you don't know about or even willfully ignore until you read Diaz's work.

Yunior. Dios mio. You want to hug him. You see through the exterior and you want to tell him it's all OK. You want to yell at him and knock some sense into him. And like one of his girls in Cheater's Guide to Love, you love his mind, which is an expert on almost everything - from words you have to look up that he casually slips into conversation/narration to sci-fi references you also have to Wikipedia. Yet you empathize with him. You throw up your hands because you wish he'd just come clean. And you want to be there when he does.

And then the sadness when the book ends, even though you know you'll see it again, is palpable. ~~sigh~~

I've read a few of the stories in This Is How You Lose Her in the New Yorker during the past few years. The ripped-out pages I saved in a portfolio just in case I never saw those stories published again. But even though those magazine pages, for the most part, contain the same words as the corresponding stories in the book, it's like the stories were brand new. Again, blows everyone away on sheer ability.

And Diaz, you want to tell him, "You did good, hombre. You did real good."
Profile Image for Roy Lotz.
Author 1 book8,178 followers
January 9, 2018
My friends sometimes ask me why I don’t read more contemporary fiction, and my reaction to this book is a good illustration of the reason. On a purely superficial level, I don’t like the style. Díaz’s prose is punchy and energetic; but its energy reminds me of how CGI is abused in contemporary films—an added dose of color and dazzle that attempts to make up for a lack of substance. I felt as though he was constantly trying to maintain my attention, with a punchline, a striking image, a vulgarity, rather than trusting in the patience of the reader.

The theme of this short-story collection is masculine infidelity. In Díaz’s world this is caused by an inability to see women as anything but sexual objects. The protagonist of all the stories but one, Yunior, is (along with his brother and father) a serial philanderer. Though Yunior has his share of longing and vulnerability, the main reason for his cheating seems to be cultural training. In any case, this understandably gets him into trouble and makes him miserable, as he undermines his every relationship.

I admit that the struggles of a young man to stop making obviously bad decisions that hurt people did not strike a chord in me. This was especially true since he does not spend much time in contemplating how it must feel from the other side of infidelity. And though he does appear to show some signs of growth by the final story, this growth is notably not any substantial increase in empathy. In any case, I found the exposition monotonous and predictable: the exhilaration of forbidden sex followed by the disappointment of getting caught.

Two stories stand out as exceptions. “Otravida, Otravez” is refreshing in its viewing infidelity from another angle, as a woman who is in a relationship with a married man. “Invierno,” which is about Yunior’s move from the Dominican Republic to New Jersey, is also exceptional in its considerations of how past and future infidelity—Yunior's father, this time—affect Yunior’s family and childhood.

These stories aside, I admit that I did not sympathize with Yunior and his obsessive focus on relationships—past and current, failed and failing. But I did finish this book very quickly, reading most of it in one setting, which means it cannot be all bad. Indeed, it can be very entertaining—like verbal CGI.
Profile Image for M.  Malmierca.
323 reviews280 followers
April 6, 2022
Así es como la pierdes(2013) la última colección de relatos de Junot Díaz (1968-) no defrauda. Historias más o menos autobiográficas (Yunior como el alter ego de Díaz), narradas en primera persona, sobre la vida y los amores de los inmigrantes latinos (especialmente dominicanos) en EEUU. Historias duras que muestran las dificultades de adaptación a un entorno hostil, a causa del clima, del idioma o del inevitable racismo. Historias realistas, siempre atravesadas por el tema del sexo que se muestra aquí como algo inherente al modo de ser dominicano. Realidad o ficción, queda a gusto del lector.

Tengo que destacar el relato titulado Otra vida, otra vez, el único de los nueve que no tiene como protagonista al autor o a sus íntimos y que presenta un retrato brutal de la vida de la mujer latina inmigrante: sus penosas condiciones tanto laborales como sociales, su soledad, su desconfianza incluso entre sus iguales, el abandono y el engaño por parte de los hombres, la subsistencia y la educación en solitario de sus hijos o la nostalgia por los dejados en su país. Un submundo dentro del mundo de primera clase norteamericano, que nadie ve, que nadie quiere ver.

Junot Díaz me sorprendió gratamente con La maravillosa vida breve de Oscar Wao [Reseña] (2007) y en estos relatos continua con su estilo fresco y su lenguaje multicultural. Quizá los temas sean demasiado recurrentes y por tanto su lectura puede resultar a veces monótona y sonar a "ya leído", pero su ritmo vivaz y desenfadado y sus ocurrentes comparaciones permiten disfrutar sin problemas de su lectura. Sin duda leería una nueva novela de este autor, aunque esta vez espero que se desarrolle en un ambiente distinto.

Me habla de nuevo sobre el hombre que se cayó de las vigas. ¿Qué harías si hubiese sido yo?, me pregunta de nuevo.
Me buscaría otro hombre, le digo.
Sonríe. ¿Ah, sí? ¿Y dónde lo buscarías?
Tienes amigos, ¿no?
¿Y qué tipo de hombre tocaría la novia de un amigo muerto?
Profile Image for Jessica J..
1,020 reviews1,960 followers
January 17, 2015
Holy cannoli on a flying Popsicle stick.

I never got around to reading Oscar Wao mostly because I never got around to it and a little because I was concerned that I simply wouldn't be able to relate to a story about a nerdy teenage boy living in what Diaz himself describes as the ghetto. But, I heard that it was good (you know, in that Pulitzer-winning way) and then there was increased buzz around this latest collection of short stories. Somehow, I was the first person on the library reserve list. I can't believe I'd ever hesitate on something like this - I flipping tore through this thing like my life depended on it. I didn't even notice that I accidentally doubled the length of my lunch break because of it.


A series of short stories centered on the theme of lost love, This is How You Lose Her packs an enormous punch. Many stories involve Yunior, who also appeared in Diaz's previous works, but some focus on new characters as well. Those latter stories falter a little bit for me, but that's mostly because Yunior's felt so much like Diaz opening his veins and pouring his blood out onto the pages. The story featuring the titular line is four pages long and features no real action, but it was chilling in its emotion. I couldn't shake the fact that it was simply the author expressing his regret over a relationship he fucked up once upon a time.

So much regret in these pages, and so much heart. Some of the characters lack the self-awareness I'd love to see, but I suppose that drives home the authenticity of the narrative. After all, who's really self-aware when they're struggling to hold together a failing relationship? Regardless of the severity, loss and heartbreak are, sadly, two of the world's few truly universal experiences. Junot Diaz absolutely nails it. Maybe it speaks to where I am in my life at the moment, but I am baffled at the idea that anyone can read this book and not feel something.

This collection gets my most enthusiastic recommendation.
Profile Image for Arria.
15 reviews9 followers
October 9, 2012
I'm a big fan of Junot. I own all 3 of his books and love when he has a story featured in The New Yorker (which is how I discovered him, many moons ago, in high school).
"This Is How You Lose Her" is another winner. Diaz has a way with words, that much is certain. Each story has it's own little gem and specialness to it.
This book is comprised of 9 short stories, most of them intertwined, linking the main character, Yunior, with his dealings with women, his dickhead brother, Rafa, who is arrogant and cancer-stricken; their mother, who has the patience of a saint dealing with his Rafa, and there is a bit of a theme of cheating in the stories. Yunior seems to want to be a better man and stay away from the infidelity gene that has touched both his jerky, cold father and womanizing, unempathetic brother. The Dominican background and stories color this book all the more for the better, as usual, and give it that "glitter" that Junot knows how to lace through with some awesome prose. It can be beautiful and sad and funny and you are endeared to Yunior who is navigating the waters of the female species, only to disappoint and be disappointed (in both himself and his actions). It's almost like he just can't win. Mostly by his own choices and decisions. It's kind of heartbreaking.
My favorite story is "Alma." Just the way the words slice together and how he describes her and how it details so concisely a sort of amazingness, a charm, all to come snowballing down like an avalanche--it's really beautiful. "Miss Lora" was also another fave. It follows Yunior who begins sleeping with an older woman while cheating on his girlfriend Paloma. "The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars" start out this book's journey. Yunior has cheated on his sweet girlfriend Magda which she discovers because his sidepiece informs her about it. Yunior invites Magda on a trip to the Dominican Republic for the purpose of rekindling their now-infidelity-broken romance. "Nilda" is the story of Rafa's down-and-out girlfriend, with whom Yunior is completely in love with and has to watch on the sidelines, being emotionally tormented and treated badly by his "mujeriego" brother who only cares about himself. "Flaca" is the story of Yunior dating a "whitegirl" that he knows he will never love. "Otravida, Otravez" follows the story of a woman involved with a married man who has left his wife behind on the Island--and her uncertainty over her relationship with said married man. How she loves him in this sad way yet does not trust him and can't relax enough to enjoy their relationship, always wondering if he's going to go back to his wife.
"The Pura Principle" paints a great picture of sick Rafa (this particular story was described in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) and in "Invierno," you feel for Yunior's mother, who has newly arrived to the Unites States with her sons and it's sad how lonely she is trying to adjust to this solitary life in a new cold world, so far removed from everything in the Dominican Republic. "A Cheater's Guide to Love" is the culmination of all of the stories. Yunior has cheated on his fiancé and regrets it deeply after she dumps him and the story follows him through the years of trying to put his life back together, of feeling like he is never going to find someone better, and in true Junot fashion, there is a melancholic enlightenment that the protagonist experiences. A realization that maybe, this is as good as it gets. Maybe he did have the best and screwed it up.
Women always have a way of disappearing on Yunior, becoming ghosts never to be seen again.
I wouldn't say this is a book about "love." It's more a book about love just within the grasp of one's hand, slipping through fingers, gently touching the skin, just long enough to know it's there, and then suddenly, it's not. It eludes. And sometimes, there's only yourself to blame.
Junot nails it. Again.
Profile Image for Nathan Rostron.
84 reviews57 followers
December 6, 2012
I hate to filter my response to book based upon others' responses to a book, but after a National Book Award nomination, a Guggenheim, and the almost unseemly vocal adoration of seemingly every major reviewer, one comes to a book with certain expectations. And in the case of this collection of nine short stories (seven of which were published previously in periodicals) that it took the author ten-plus years to complete, the subjects of which are men who keep cheating on their girlfriends and feeling sorry for themselves when those girlfriends get mad about it, one is acutely underwhelmed. What exactly is brave, fresh, or exciting about this? Is it the Spanglish and slang? Is it the Star Trek metaphors that the characters use to give shape to their emotions? Is it just that Diaz (who, yes, is a fantastic writer of sentences, however slight their freight) has a corner on this particular slice of the market? Unfair to ask, but still: Is this the work of "genius"? Here's hoping that Diaz's characters, led by Yunior, will be given the chance to grow up.
Profile Image for Milena Tasheva.
377 reviews222 followers
June 21, 2017
Ако не сте чели Краткият чуден живот на Оскар Уао, вероятно не знаете нищо за Доминиканската република.

Ако това беше различна история, бих ви разправил за морето. Как изглежда, когато погледът през илюминатора го съединява с небето. Как, като шофирам от летището, го зървам като ивица сребро и тогава разбирам, че наистина съм си у дома.

Не знаете, че типичният доминикански мъж е sucio, мръсник. Че онзи Юниор, който разби сърцето на Лола, е литературното алтер его на самия Джуно Диас и се появява и в трите му книги, сякаш за да придаде допълнителна документалност на разказа. Не че има нужда от това – автентичният език, на който говорят героите на Диас, е езикът на латино гетото, английски с тежък акцент, толкова нагъсто изпъстрен с испански думи, че често го наричат spanglish. Език на емиграция, продължаваща поколения наред, език на постоянната битка между културна и социална идентичност, междинен език на поколението, родено там, но отгледано тук.

Адмирации за работата на тандема Надя Баева (превод) и Надежда Розова (редактор), работил по „Ето така я губиш“ – книгата звучи прекрасно на български.

В много отношения Юниор е типичен доминикански мъж и архетипов образ на латиноамеркинаския мъж, на мъжа изобщо. В същото време е и силно автобиографичен персонаж, който Диас създава още през 90-те и чиито истории – както семейни, така и лични – отразяват донякъде житейският опит на самия автор. Когато го питат за Юниор, Диас казва, че още от самото начало е планирал да го включи “в шест или седем книги, които да оформят роман”. Дотук книгите са три.

Последна е „Ето така я губиш“ (изд. „Orange Books“). На пръв прочит това са разкази за любов и секс, за изневери и раздели. Но вгледаш ли се внимателно в думите, виждаш, че картината е много, много по-сложна. „Ето така я губиш“ е книга за личните рани, семейните травми и обществените язви – тя разказва какво е да разбиваш сърцето си отново и отново, да бъдеш брат, баща и син, да си тъмнокож в Бостън. Говори за дълбоко вкоренения расизъм и предразсъдъци в обществото, за самоомразата вътре в общността.

Джуно Диас е страстен защитник на гражданските и човешките права, радетел за равнопоставеност и отявлен противник на Тръмп. Понякога имам чувството, че всеки фейсбук статус, всеки коментар към статия, всяка негова статия дописват книгите му и са част от един много, много по-голям текст, който ще се намира в пресечната точка на литература, политика и културология.
По дяволите, баща ти те водеше на курварските си походи и те оставяше да чакаш в колата, докато оправяше приятелките си. Брат ти и той не беше по-стока, чукаше момичета в леглото до твоето. Sucios от най-лошите, а сега вече официално и ти си такъв. Надявал си се този ген да те е прескочил, но очевидно си се самозалъгвал.

Да се върнем на “Ето така я губиш” – малък сборник с девет разказа, който преминава през теб със силата на локомотив и те оставя да го премисляш отново и отново. Това е книга за онова чувство, което изпитваш в секундите преди катастрофата. Прецакал си всичко, единственото, което ти остава, е да чакаш края. И той не закъснява.

Знаете ли кое е най-лошото? Че почти винаги сами предизвикваме катастрофата. Че правим погрешен житейски избор с напълно ясното съзнание, че залагаме бомба със закъснител в живота си. И, подобно на Чеховата пушка, рано или късно тя ще избухне.

Разказът „Госпожица Лора“ печели Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, най-богатото частно отличие за кратък разказ. Със своя награден фонд от 30 хиляди паунда то превръща „Госпожица Лора“ в един от най-добре платените кратки разкази в историята. Въпреки този любопитен факт, любимата ми история в сборника е последната – „Пътеводител на неверника в любовта“.

Хроника на саморазрушението, този разказ започва от края. Умението да губиш неща и хора се усвоява лесно, а героите на Джуно Диас започват да го изучават от най-ранна възраст. Свикнали са да губят, животът им започва с голямата загуба на родина, уж за да получат ново начало в Америка. За книга, фокусирана върху края, „Ето така я губиш“ отделя много внимание на началата.

понякога начало е всичко, което получаваме
Profile Image for Jennifer.
25 reviews16 followers
December 17, 2012

I have to preface this review with the following: I saw Junot Díaz at a sold-out Inprint event in Houston earlier this fall where he was promoting This is How You Lose Her. Anyone who has met Díaz in person will understand the significance of this statement. Díaz is a bona-fide firecracker and has a great sense of humor to boot. He showed up on stage in tennis shoes and blue jeans and held the audience completely captive. He was exceedingly liberal with his language, which, by the way, works its way into his books. In addition to swearing like a sailor, Díaz was fond of saying “yeah” after every thought. Díaz doesn’t do what he does for the shock value, it’s just who he is. And I loved him.

Díaz candidly spoke of his literary beginnings and how he views the writing process. I was really surprised by Díaz’s admission of a “trial and error” method of writing. He told the audience that it takes him three to four years to write one short story! There have to be better ways to write, but Díaz isn’t about the “machine” model. Nothing is wrong for the thing you love to be really hard, and it is okay to suck. He never has a “that was a great day of writing” moment, and he says that it is just part of the process of creating something good.

Díaz comes at the writing process as a reader first. The average reader is open, more receptive, and way cooler than the writer. Most writers approach writing too fearfully, but they shouldn’t because readers put up with so much shit. Readers excuse flaws, make up for gaps, and stitch plots together. Readers are happy to see you! By beginning to write for READERS, Díaz found his voice. This comes through in This is How You Lose Her.

This event definitely colored my reading of the book. I actually intended to read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Díaz’s Pulitzer-winning book. Díaz chose to read the short story “The Cheater’s Guide to Love,” and I felt like I just had to read This is How You Lose Her.

I hate short stories. Period. I haven’t found many exceptions to this rule. There isn’t enough time to build a credible plot or develop characters in any great detail. Díaz bucks my traditional expectation of the potential of a collection of short stories. He ties each short story of this book together, so much so that he is able to paint an in-depth and broader “big picture.” Each short story follows Yunior, a Dominican immigrant, through the relationships that are in his life from his teens to his mid-life. There so many intertwined levels in this book. Though many of the stories showcase Yunior’s ill-fated relationships with women, Díaz also weaves Yunior’s tumultuous relationship with older brother Rafa, and the cultural expectations and stereotypes of a Dominican man into the mix.

Throughout each story, Yunior experiences far more loss than love; Yunior is simply fated to mourn loss. I loved Yunior because he was a character that looked like you or me: Human, flawed, and brutally real. “I’m not a bad guy. I know how that sounds — defensive, unscrupulous — but it’s true. I’m like everybody else: Weak, full of mistakes, but basically good.” One of my #1 pet peeves is using a difficult childhood to excuse bad behavior. There is no doubt Yunior has had a difficult childhood (we see glimpses of this throughout), but he doesn’t make a big deal out of it or cater to the reader’s pity. The past haunts us, and Yunior is no exception. As a reader, you never hate Yunior, and Díaz’s ability to make a cheater remain likeable is pure genius.

The Spanish slang made the book a little difficult and frustrating to read at times – unfortunately, I don’t speak “Dominican.” I started off trying to translate some of the words and phrases I didn’t know, but I gave up about halfway through the book. I got the gist, and it only added to the book’s overall “real” flavor.

So who was the girl who broke Díaz’s heart? Are parts of This is How You Lose Her or Yunior autobiographical? Díaz says he broke someone else’s. “You know you love someone when you’re proud of the way they break up with you.” Díaz still dreams about her, and according to his mom, the only thing worse than ruining the relationship was becoming a writer.
Profile Image for Janet.
Author 22 books87.7k followers
October 25, 2015
Voice, voice, voice. What a treasure. This slim volume of nine short stories, about the battlefield of love. There's cheating. And searching. Being with one you don't want. Yearning for the one you want. Watching parents struggle with their own disappointments. Several of the stories feature Yunior, a young Dominican man--sometimes boy--struggling to live up to male culture while at the same time trying to find what's true to himself--while his brother Rafa is a pure heat-seeking missile of sex. Rafa's death hangs over several of the stories. The unflinching view of the male experience, the immigrant experience, the Latino experience, opinions--correct or not--the less correct usually delivered in Dominican scented Spanish - fly like fur and as with all great writing, Junot Diaz wins it on the sentences, one surprising, perfect laugh out loud brilliant choice after another.
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 118 books157k followers
July 4, 2012
I sometimes wish there were half stars because I want to give this book a 3.5. The story Otravida, Otravez, is magnificent. More elsewhere.
Profile Image for Tsvetelina.
Author 4 books612 followers
July 17, 2018
Джуно Диас грабва с откровеност, автентичност и цвят. Толкова много цвят, че биографичността и искреността струят като дъга от разказите му.
Историите от "Ето така я губиш", навързани една с друга, те лашкат ту към хумора и топлината, която те сгрява в гръдния кош, ту към унинието, отчаянието, когато виждаш как всичко се разпада пред очите ти и знаеш как ще свърши. И въпреки че познаваш онова чувство, което ще последва, няма какво да направиш. Отново не си изневерил на себе си, бил си верен на всичко, което познаваш - само на половинката не и пак си прецакал нещата.
Освен че внушава съпричастност, а може би просто излага фактите каквито са, Джуно Диас оцветява разказите си и с грозната страна на живота на цветнокожите - расизма, неприемането, културните различия, в които се изгубваш и в един момент се оказва, че май не си съвсем нито доминиканец, нито американец, а това няма как да ти е от полза, когато преживяваш поредната семейна криза и раздяла. ��сториите са наистина живи, откровени и автентични, също като езика на героите, като трудностите и терзанията и насладите им.
Не може да не останеш съпричастен към тези истории. Всички сме били там - заблудени, хванати в лъжа, пропилели шанса си, загубили ритъма и себе си, изтерзани, решени да върнем всичко отначало, да обърнем страницата, да се променим. Но в крайна сметка вероятно си оставаме същите, само историята е различна и чакаме началото на следващата, "защото знаеш дълбоко в невярното си сърце, че понякога началото е всичко, което получаваме".

Любими разкази: Слънцето, луната, звездите; Алма; Госпожица Лора; и разбира се Пътеводител на неверника в любовта (не в този ред). Пътеводителят съвсем не случайно е последният разказ - с него виждаш какво е да започнеш от края, да не намираш себе си в собствената си кожа, да не откриваш утеха в нищо познато ти от света, докато накрая не се оставиш на милостта на времето - да чакаш, да се надяваш нещо да се промени, да намериш началото, каквото и да е то, защото вече знаеш (макар да можеше да си го набиеш в главата много по-отрано) точно как я губиш.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,562 followers
January 18, 2020
"This Is How you Lose Her" (SP): The newest one by darling Junot Diaz is so theme-heavy, so break-up-centric, that you soon realize that the writer is a wee less dynamic than we'd originally thought. From acclaimed short stories to the dynamite novel that bestowed upon him the nifty Pulitzer--what could the young writer come up with next? Easy... a valentine for heartbreak. Most of the characters in "Lose Her" are flawlessly interchangeable, all women have long sexy dark hair, all men are extraordinarily horny, and lives are mainly average, pedestrian, acceptable, nothing new. An irritating infatuation or overconsciousness of the skin tone and overbearing macho complexes also describes lost loves, doomed relationships, & how perfect they were before they were shattered beyond repair. The rapture of youth, of stamina, is balanced by an overabundance of sick relatives and low expectations. It feels as if the same story is being told exactly nine times--over and over there are relationships of love and hate, lives filled with disillusion and disappointment. Diaz clearly knows that by polishing all sad descriptions to their utmost pathos-potential he's got in his crafty hands a winner, and he's correct.

The best of the nine "relatos" is "La Doctrina Pura". And because I read the thing in Spanish (when it comes to reading in Spanish my rule is this: if it's in the public library, in Spanish, I'LL READ it. They are hard to get to, Spanish books. And expensive. Anyway,) its mainly a thrill to see "new" words become part of a strict but hella old Spanish vernacular. Of note: "eniguey" & "foken".
Profile Image for Benji.
121 reviews40 followers
June 7, 2017
“And that's when I know it's over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end.”
Profile Image for Kim.
286 reviews777 followers
June 28, 2013
"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea."

You think about signs. How it is so easy to miss them, misinterpret them, ignore them, spit in their face. Is it about rebellion? Is it trying to defy the inevitable? If you ignore the whole nations, anguish, tossing part of the bible quote and focus on the selfish, defeatist, lovelorn Yunior and his tales of woe that is This is How You Lose Her, you know that he definitely spat.

“I’m not a bad guy.”

You know that this is probably the one statement that you don’t want to hear from someone you are sleeping with. It’s a garish neon blinking VACANCY sign. It’s doomed. This is how This is How You Lose Her starts and you roll your eyes and wait for the proof. Yunior is a major sucio. It’s right there, in like the 4th sentence of the first story. You cannot deny this, if you knew this man you would hate him on principle.

You do not like cheaters. David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary defined it best:

“ Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.”

Fuck Yeah.

Yet you continue to read these stories of Yunior and his exploits and his constant yearning for that one true love. While fucking 3 to 4 woman on the side during each of his relationships. You actually relish in his demise. What makes you continue reading? Is it the second person narrative that you love so much, the inclusion, the self helpy feeling that it brings? Hell Yes, you crave the attention, you want to be part of the cool crowd. You continue.

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

Neruda was a cheater. Uh Huh. This haunts you. You’ve swooned over his words and now they are tinged. It’s not hard to ignore when he gets all “I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” on you, and you know that you are being judgmental and that you should be Freetobeyouandme about it but you feel betrayed.

Then something happens. The Cheater’s Guide to Love. You’ve spent all of the book muttering ‘fuck you, you dirty swine’ and then the call of the dysfunctional man pulls you in. Why are you feeling bad for Yunior? You liked watching karma kick his ass. Now you feel pity. Which, in itself, is a triumph. Who wants to be pitied? Only the pitiful. You get what you deserve. But now, now you watch the demise, physical, emotional, psychological and you want to say it’s okay. You will find love. You will get better and then you read the last paragraph:

“It’s a start—you say to the room.
That’s about it. In the months that follow you bend to the work, because it feels like hope, like grace—and because you know in your lying cheater’s heart that sometimes a start is all we ever get.”

And you know.. that cheater or not, you will at some point realize that yes, a start is all we ever get. And you weep.
Profile Image for Hilary.
133 reviews34 followers
October 12, 2012
All right, we get it, Junot Diaz. You’ve got a fun, energetic style, and we don’t know any other Dominican writers, so you can keep writing about sucios and morenos and we’ll keep applauding because it’ll seem culturally insensitive to say that, after three books largely focused on your thinly-veiled alter ego, Yunior, it’s time you tried something new.

In his previous two works, “Drown” and the Pulitzer-winning “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” Yunior was a dorky outcast more likely to read Lovecraft than find love, which helped to defuse the inherent sexism of his machismo-infused raps. Now, he’s all grown up, and without the sweetness of his awkward teenage dorkiness, his relationships and near-constant infidelities (and subsequent attempts to reminisce about those ruined relationships) just come off as offensive. Do we really feel bad for the cheater? Do we need to revisit characters from “Wao” to narrowly focus on love/sex/machismo, ruining the best part of that novel, which was its broad scope? I didn't.

Sure, this book has its moments of brilliance, where Diaz gets a great rhythm going, or writes a particularly evocative sentence or description, but those moments were far and few between. I understand that authors get stuck on a character (Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman, Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom), but what reviewers who cite those books to excuse Diaz forget is that those authors wrote other books involving other characters. Since 1996, Diaz has managed two slim books of stories and a novel, all of which essentially are just about Yunior. I enjoyed “Drown” a great deal, “Wao” a little less so (too many Lovecraft/comic book references), but this book just felt like a stale retread of those better works. It was the “What’s Happenin’ Now” to the previous “What’s Happenin,’” I suppose, if “What’s Happenin’ Now” was pretty damn sexist and made one feel kinda icky for reading it.
Profile Image for Kasa Cotugno.
2,353 reviews452 followers
April 21, 2020
Several years ago I lived out a fantasy abetted by Junot Diaz, of which he was unaware. I was sitting in a cafe reading the searing conclusion to A Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and upon closing it, looked up and saw the author himself 10 feet away, watching me read his work. He was there to attend a reading at a bookstore a few doors away. Upon signing my book, he added "thanks for allowing me to help you live the fantasy."

All of his work is intertwined, so much so that I am choosing to label this latest collection as being a memoir as there are so many connections between Diaz and his protagonist, Yunior, also his nickname. So where does imagination leave off here? He shares many of the same qualities, and if so, is exposing himself to a remarkable degree. These linked stories are elegiac, painful, poetic, raw. All characteristics that appear in previous works. He's a busy guy -- teaching uses up a great deal of his time. But here's hoping we don't have to wait another 5 years for something new.
Profile Image for Iulia D..
200 reviews48 followers
November 19, 2022
Aproape perfecte povestirile din acest volum ; încã îmi vine greu sã cred cã mi-au plãcut cei doi frati, imoralii si infidelii Rafa si Yunior, atãt de superficiali şi atât de egoisti, dar atãt de fascinanţi! Şi nu fascinația aceea înãlțãtoare pe care o simți în fața Frumosului....ci, mai degrabã, aplecarea/atracția aceea nefireascã şi inexplicabilã cãtre imoralitate, mizerie sau greţoşenie.
Meritul este al acestui Junot Diaz care scrie cu patos, cãldurã şi exotism, amețitoare combinaţie! Cu ce erotism, cruzime şi fascinație se învârt, se iubesc şi se urãsc femelele şi masculii! Ce dezintegrare şi ce patimi trãiesc cu toții, ce dorintã de a-si arãta trupurile si de a le folosi, bine, rãu, nici nu conteazã, ce joc dezlãnțuit al vieții şi al morții fac ei! Ce teatru viu dar şi fãrã de speranțä în acelaşi timp, cã si mort de-ai fi şi tot ai pulsa cu "Uite-aşa o pierzi"!! Buun, buuun de tot.

„....pentru că ştii, în inima ta de infidel mincinos, că un început este uneori singurul lucru de care avem parte” (p. 175).

Nerecomandat prințeselor şi/sau (prea)virtuoşilor.
Profile Image for Mevsim Yenice.
Author 4 books973 followers
September 22, 2020
Birkaç öykü hoşuma gitse de, genel itibariyle okuması kolay, keyifli ancak bana pek de bir şey katmayan bir okuma oldu.

Etrafınızda öyküye bir türlü ısınamayan, okuması çok güç diye yakınan okurlar varsa, bu kitabı önerebilirsiniz. Kolay okunması avantaj sağlayabilir bu anlamda.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,906 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.