Title: This is How You Lose Her.
Author: Junot Díaz.
Publisher: Riverhead Books.
Year of Publication: 2012.
Year of Publication: 2012.
Genre: Short Stories, Contemporary, Romance, Literary.
In your short span of life, you read a limited number of books. Some of them so good that you mourn that it got over. Some so bad that you feel that you will never get those hours back.. and once in a while you come across a book so different from the norm that it blows your mind so completely. You love the author for the candid manner he has penned down the story and you also despise him a little for being so blunt. That, my friend is This is How You Lose Her.
I am not much of a fan when it comes to short stories. However, short stories which are inter connected in some manner is very appealing to me. It's like solving a jigsaw puzzle. This is How You Lose Her is a book of short stories and as you may have guessed, most of the stories are interconnected. The stories are narrated by Yunior, a Dominican raised in United States. The stories mostly consist of his childhood, his brother Rafa, his mami and papi and last but not the least all the women he loved in his life. The narration seems more like Yunior is having an up close and personal conversation with the readers where he bares his soul to you. Where we come to know that the men in his family are not famous for their fidelity. The stories deal with various factors. A few being: life as an immigrant in United States, minimum wage workers and their struggles.
In between all this, the people find time to love, cheat, break the hearts of their loved ones. Like I said most of the stories deal with Yunior and the women he loved at various stages in his life. He loves them deeply, yet cheats on them, gets caught, gets dumped, tries to get back with the girl, fails miserly and remains miserable for a long while.
The book might not be appeasing to all readers. One of the reasons being, the women in the book are not shown in a good light. Most of the time the women are described mainly on their physical and sexual attributes or they just fade into the background. It's easy to get offended but if you read the book from the point of view of a man whose eyes always wander, a man who cannot manage to keep a relationship because he cannot keep his hands to himself, then the depiction seems spot on. You don't like Yunior, you feel like he needs to get his ass kicked and yet sometimes you feel pity for the sad case of a human that he is. The book is anything but mellow. It is raw. The love stories are not in the chick lit genre. It's messy and even feels dirty and somehow strangely alluring. The books draws you right in. The writing flows freely and it feels so personal; like reading a personal journal. I loved every word penned down. Junot, you sneaky genius!
The only flaw or short coming I felt was the fact the author uses a lot of Spanish lingo. Sometimes just words here and there and sometimes phrases and there is no glossary or footnote. That makes it a little difficult for readers who are not familiar with the language. So each time, you will have to Google it or just assume what it means. Other than that an absolute stunning piece of work. I will be reading more of his works.