This Is How You Loser Her

Photo: J Muckle/Studio D

2 of 15
This Is How You Lose Her
224 pages; Riverhead
In his collection This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Díaz exhibits the potent blend of literary eloquence and street cred that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. These interconnected stories of love betrayed and lost bring Yunior (Díaz's recurring character and alter ego) center stage. In "The Sun, the Moon, the Stars," he tries to atone for being unfaithful by taking his girl, Magda, on a trip to the Dominican Republic. As usual, his bad-boy ways trump his good intentions. Other stories revolve around Yunior's misadventures with a series of women, including the middle-aged Miss Lora, and Alma, with "an ass that could drag the moon out of orbit." Díax's prose is vulgar, brave, and poetic. While you might not want your sister to date Yunior, beneath his appalling machismo beats a tender heart. In "The Cheater's Guide to Love," he learns how it feels to suffer for romance: "Like someone flew a plane into your soul. Like someone flew two planes into your soul."
— Louisa Ermelino