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This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
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This Is How You Lose Her (edition 2012)

by Junot Diaz

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1,163686,976 (3.68)99
Member:megc11
Title:This Is How You Lose Her
Authors:Junot Diaz
Info:Riverhead Hardcover (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

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English (65)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Very similar to 'Drown'--the last chapter--seemingly autobiographical takes place in Cambridge and felt so, so uncomfortably close to home that I loved it all the more. ( )
  Catherine.Buxton | Oct 14, 2014 |
Enjoyed it immensely. The short story style with certain characters running through it made it good for the long read or the intermittent reader. The strong point was the beautiful diction and syntax. While still maintaining realness. ( )
  lushrain | Sep 29, 2014 |
Well, I just read this book in a day. It's only 200 pages, but I don't do that very often.

It gets five stars because it simply is amazing. And because I had ridiculously high expectations for this book and I was not even remotely disappointed.

All of the little Dominicanisms, etc. in Diaz's writing always make me happy. Sometimes they make me smile, or even chuckle (embarrassing when you remember that you are on the couch at one of your favorite cafes, not in your living room). I'll always remember the phrase "colmado superstar", which he used in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. gave me quality words like "berserkeria". And all of the references to Dominican culture and history, many I am familiar with (Juan Bosch! And one of the characters is from Moca! I LIVED in Moca!) always make me smile, make me rediscover something inside me, this passion that I sometimes forget about. I can't really credit Junot Diaz with that, but I can credit him with doing such an excellent job of weaving all of these Dominicanisms into the Americanisms and the general story. Nothing is superfluous in his books - my all-time pet peeve in writing, which for me is a problem in so many contemporary novels.

His writing is just amazing. I had to stop and write down so many quotes in my little pocket notebook. I know from all of the things that have been written about Diaz, that writing is hard work for him. But you would not know it from his writing; it seems effortless, and if you aren't paying attention you will read over sentences as if they are common and casual, without realizing that they are actually highly unique. That is, I think, why his writing works. He doesnt write stories peppered with beautiful sentences. Anyone with a little discipline can do that. Diaz writes stories that have incredible descriptive power, with sentences that also happen to be beautiful. But then there are also many, many sentences that are just real. (I'm kicking myself for not having written it down, and now I can't find it, but in one sentence he uses the word "conducted" in such a way that I didn't notice it, then did a double-take and was amazed with the originality of the sentence, which created such a specific and precise image.)

Long story short, this is a book about love but it is a book about so much more than that. It is about biculturalism and it is about aging and it is about father issues and mother issues and sibling issues and immigrant issues. It is about the minefield that is dating and it is about all of the ways people can hurt each other and all of the chances they have to forgive and to apologize, all the little things that would be so simple for them to do but that really are the most difficult thing in the world.

Also, it has baseball in it, so what's not to love? ( )
  GraceZ | Sep 6, 2014 |
I adored Oscar Wao, and I liked most of these stories a lot when I read them in the New Yorker. But somehow, reading them all together (along with the few I hadn't seen elsewhere), Yunior & his behavior towards women got to be a little much for me. He just didn't endear himself to me as much as poor Oscar. ( )
  lexmccall | Sep 3, 2014 |
I loved Diaz's Oscar Wao novel, so I was looking forward to this one. Too bad it doesn't have anywhere near the depth of the earlier work.

I will say that the writing remains wonderful--powerful, evocative, and provocative. Diaz wields language as a weapon and doesn't pull any punches. That's the good news.

And now for the not-so-good. As others have commented, most of the women in this series of stories are ciphers--they're there only for Yunior to take from or (grudgingly) give to. None of the characters are sympathetic, either, which makes it hard to relate to or root for them.

These stories aren't told in chronological order, making the narrative arc a bit scattered. More important, Yunior doesn't appear to learn anything or grow from his dealings with women over the book's course. Why bother telling his story if he ends up thinking of women the same way as in the beginning? Disappointing. ( )
  Pat_F. | Jul 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
The strongest tales are those fueled by the verbal energy and magpie language that made “Brief Wondrous Life” so memorable and that capture Yunior’s efforts to commute between two cultures, Dominican and American, while always remaining an outsider.

“This Is How You Lose Her” doesn’t aspire to be a grand anatomy of love like Gabriel García Márquez’s “Love in the Time of Cholera” — which opens out into a luminous meditation on the varieties of love and loss and the persistence of passion — but it gives us a small, revealing window on the subject.
 
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Epigraph
Okay, we didn't work, and all

memories to tell you the truth aren't good.

But sometimes there were good times.

Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep

beside me and never dreamed afraid.



There should be stars for great wars

like ours.

Sandra Cisneros
Dedication
For Marilyn Ducksworth and Mih-Ho Cha honor of your friendship, your fierceness, your grace
First words
I'm not a bad guy.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Haiku summary
He Loves her
     He Loves her also
     He loses both

No descriptions found.

Presents a collection of stories that explores the heartbreak and radiance of love as it is shaped by passion, betrayal, and the echoes of intimacy.

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