Junot Diaz’s latest offering, This Is How You Lose Her, has been highly acclaimed in his native United States as well as the UK and Australia. (He spoke at the 2013 Melbourne Writers’ Festival, so some of you may have had the pleasure there…). It is a collection of interlinked short stories relating incidents in the life of Yunior, a Dominican-American ne’er-do-well trying to come good. The book is written in the Spanish-dotted English of Dominicans and Latinos, so be ready for a bit of dictionary hunting, compañeros! Diaz’s ear for dialogue is excellent, and his capturing of Latino lives is sensitive, as he examines Yunior’s relationships with women, family, the Dominican Republic and the world. Like his earlier Pulitzer Prize winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, this is a fine novel in the tradition of Ana Castillo (Mexican-American), Sandra Cisneros (Mexican-American), Daniel Alarcón (Peruvian-American) and Julia Alvarez (Dominican-American). A great slice-of-life read.
This Is How You Lose Her – Junot Diaz – Faber – PB – $20
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz – Faber – PB – $20