I wasn’t prepared for this to be short stories. They all share a common main character, Yunior, and they all reference certain things (his brother who died of cancer, for instance), but otherwise, they are all stand-alone short stories about former lovers. They are written in Diaz’s smooth, impeccable prose, so I didn’t mind. Normally I’m not a fan of short stories. I feel most end abruptly, and it takes me almost the entire length of the short story to get into it, then it’s over.
I really enjoy how Diaz blends Spanish words into his English writing effortlessly. I took some Spanish in high school, but most of his Spanish words are more slangy. Such as “sucia” which apparently means “dirty” according to the Googles. But the word was used to describe lovers, or like, slutty girls, or friends with benefits. That kind of deal. A girl whom you are banging. If you will.
Interwoven in these love stories are little bits of life as a Dominican living in the U.S. such as the racism experienced by Yunior when he goes to Boston, the family “back home” living in abject poverty. Things like that.
I’m a fan of Diaz in general, and I liked this, as well. About 200 pages long, This is How You Lose Her is worth your time.