My girlfriend gave me This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz in hardcover for my birthday, and as of its release in paperback a week ago, I have not lost her.
These short stories follow a narrator who continually does dumb things to women who readily retaliate. Diaz left me laughing and shaking my head at this guy who screws up his relationships in Larry David-esque ways. I’ll read anything by an author who pens this line: “She was the kind of girlfriend God gives you young, so you’ll know loss for the rest of your life.”
After devouring this book, I read his previous works, Drown and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (here I resist making a “Wao” and “wow” pun), the latter of the two having won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award in 2008. His insights regarding modern romance aside, Diaz has bridged–at least in part–cultural gaps between immigrants to America and its natural born citizens in all three of these books. His conversational writing style gives readers like me, readers who may not know much about what it means to be an immigrant, access to an unfamiliar world. If a book entertains and teaches, what more can you ask for?