Junot Diaz burst into the literary world with Drown
, a collection of indelible stories that revealed a major new writer with the "eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet" (Newsweek
). His eagerly awaited first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
, arrived like a thunderclap, topping best-of-the-year lists and winning a host of major awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Now Diaz turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love.
The stories in This Is How You Lose Her
, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through - "the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying" - to try to mend what we've broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever.
Diaz delivers a winning performance; his narration is clear, nuanced, and true to the text, his voice as engaging and confident as that of any professional narrator. Diaz's reading ably captures the emotional states of his characters, his voice conveying all the humor, sorrow, and anger of the prose. Additionally, he lends his characters a host of subtle accents and dialects each one distinct and appropriate to their background. This is a must listen. - Publishers Weekly