This Is How You Lose Her

5 of 7
This Is How You Lose Her
224 pages; Riverhead

To Help You Figure Out: How to Get from Rage to Forgiveness

In these fast-moving, lingo-laden stories, many of which chronicle the life of a whip-smart Dominican-American writer called Yunior, Junot Díaz explores every permutation of romantic crisis imaginable. Adding to the complexity are the ties between characters trying to make it in the States and their loved ones (or dumped ones) back in the Dominican Republic. The teenage Yunior, after a poignant, doomed affair with a middle-age teacher, grows up as macho as his missing father, juggling women—only to lose out on real love (how he describes the hit: "Like someone flew a plane into your soul. Like someone flew two planes into your soul.") Díaz pulls off the miracle of making you feel for a jerk. Will it make you forgive a real-life one? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's worth the 224 pages of effort.
— Susan Welsh