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Fixed on Fiction

This Is How You Lose Her

For our January meeting, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz-

“On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness--and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Here are a few of the comments readers made while discussing their reaction to this month’s title:

  • The book had a lot of Spanish – too much to look up.
  • Yunior had no redeeming qualities.
  • If this was autobiographical, it wasn’t very flattering to Dominican men. Would anyone date a Dominican after reading this?
  • None of the characters changed – there was no character development.
  • Some of the phrasing was very good, but the story was full of vulgar language.
  • The stories were extremely derogatory about women and echoed patriarchal societies around the world.
  • The fragmented structure made the book harder to follow.
  • I enjoyed the short-story structure.
  • It was great to read something I wouldn’t normally read and to enter into another life.
  • I enjoyed Yunior’s analysis of why he was like he was and seeing how his addictive personality played out.
  • The stories of the immigrant experience were very sad.
  • We didn’t get much background on Yunior, he must have been a good student – how did he end up at Rutgers?
  • The book is called “This Is How You Lose Her,” so his childhood and later failings with relationships were the focus.
  • The last story about Yunior’s life in Boston after his fiancé broke up with him was the most interesting.

These are just a few of the comments made during our meeting, please feel free to share additional thoughts on This Is How You Lose Her in the comments section below.

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