Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Book Review - Junot Diaz' Latest

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. Magdalena disagrees though. She considers me a typical Dominican man: a sucio, an asshole.

Those are the opening lines from This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz. He won a Pulitzer for his previous work The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I really enjoyed this second book - a loose collection of stories involving Yunior, our young flawed hero who cheats on his women, and feels remorse afterwards.

Diaz has a strong voice and his humor shines through. You can tell he loves his characters but won't sugarcoat their intentions. From the cover blurb - the haunting, impossible power of love - obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. Diaz covers it all with energetic, inventive prose. There's a hint of salsa as his words flow musically to expose the inevitable weakness of the human heart.

This is How You Lose Her is a joy to read. And yes, you'll forgive Yunior over and over again. Diaz knows how to tug at our heart.


  1. Your review made me want to read the book. Love, in all its forms, is a powerful enticement.

  2. I've not heard of this writer before but anyone with a hint of salsa in their voice is ok by me!