This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

95%

40 Critic Reviews

...Yunior's voice is as versatile as his other main instrument; rather than just a Johnny One-Note of obscenities, he's also witty and moving and mournful.
-NPR

Synopsis

Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz’s first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with “the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet” (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was named #1 Fiction Book of the Year” by Time magazine and spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, establishing itself – with more than a million copies in print – as a modern classic. In addition to the Pulitzer, Díaz has won a host of major awards and prizes, including the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, the PEN/Malamud Award, the PEN/O. Henry Prize, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Award.

Now Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. 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 the New York Times-Bestselling 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.”




From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Junot Diaz

See more books from this Author
Junot Díaz es el autor de una colección de relatos Negocios, y sus obras han aparecido en New Yorker, The Paris Review, y la antología de los mejores relatos breves Best American Short Stories. Ha recibido el Premio Pen/ Malamud, el Premio de Ficción del National Books Critics Circle, el Premio Anisfield-Wolf y el Premio Pulitzer de Ficción. Nació en Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, creció en Nueva Jersey, y vive entre Nueva York y Boston, donde es editor de ficción de la revista Boston Review y profesor en la universidad MIT.
 
Published September 11, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 226 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Other. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon15
Peak Rank on Sep 30 2012
icon5
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
14
Want to Read
2
Have Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for This Is How You Lose Her
All: 40 | Positive: 39 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Aug 15 2012

Not as ambitious as Díaz’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), but sharply observed and morally challenging.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Leah Hager Cohen on Sep 20 2012

Yet in the unshowy, breathtaking final pages, Díaz takes it to another level.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Sep 20 2012

“This Is How You Lose Her” doesn’t aspire to be a grand anatomy of love . . . but it gives us a small, revealing window on the subject.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Claire Lowdon on Sep 22 2012

A reviewer's cliche, perhaps, but if you liked his two previous books, you'll love this one, because Díaz is boldly, brilliantly, doing the same thing again, only better.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah Hall on Sep 14 2012

The most affecting narratives are those told in the second person – a potentially overpowering device in the hands of a lesser writer.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Nicole Aragi on Jun 18 2012

Decisively back in the form that permanently etched his name onto a list of unforgettable writers, Díaz . . . brings life to the short story with a voice that demands attention . . . these stories pulsate with raspy ghetto hip-hop and the subtler yet more vital echo of the human heart.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Oct 04 2012

...Yunior's voice is as versatile as his other main instrument; rather than just a Johnny One-Note of obscenities, he's also witty and moving and mournful.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from NPR

NPR

Excellent
Reviewed by Carmen Gimenez Smith on Sep 13 2012

This Is How You Lose Her is as funny as it is brutal, as complex as it is candid. It is an engrossing, ambitious book for readers who demand of their fiction both emotional precision and linguistic daring.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from NPR

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Eric Brody on Sep 11 2012

Ironically, the vivid language and lively characterization service generally weak plots peopled by characters who cannot move forward in their lives.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Toronto Star

Above average
Reviewed by Jason Beerman on Sep 17 2012

This Is How You Lose Her, which occupies the space between a story collection and a novel, is a subtle mosaic of love and commitment, punctuated by Díaz’s kinetic Spanglish prose that laces each casual utterance with the bravado of the barrio.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from Toronto Star

AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Oct 01 2012

Every word in This Is How You Lose Her feels like it was earned with blood, sweat, and tears—and yet it still admirably measures up to Díaz’s previous work.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from AV Club

National Post arts

Excellent
Reviewed by Randy Boyagoda on Sep 14 2012

Indeed, you could read Díaz . . . and enjoy to your prurient fill his gutter-smacking genius for conjuring up sex and assorted female body parts . . . in colourful, zestfully profane terms. But you could also read him — to equally strong effect — as a thoughtful, incisive chronicler of contemporary First World immigrant experiences and family life.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from National Post arts

LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Hector Tobar on Sep 09 2012

Then a book like Junot Díaz's lands in our laps, and we're reminded of the acrobatic word wizardry that a true master can bring to the simple printed page.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her | See more reviews from LA Times

Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Thom Geier on Sep 07 2012

Scooch over, Nathan Zuckerman. New Jersey has bred a new literary bad boy.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Independent

Good
Reviewed by Nikhil Kumar on Sep 30 2012

This could easily get tiring – young Yunior in the old place with the old foul-mouthed, street-wise edge. It takes more than an ounce of skill to go back and make everything seem new. Or, to be more precise, renewed – not reworked, like the work of some hack, but rejuvenated. And Díaz pulls it off...Once again, Díaz is pitch perfect.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Independent

Excellent
Reviewed by Leyla Sanai on Sep 29 2012

The stories exude charm, and suggest that in love, you reap what you sow.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Sukhdev Sandhu on Sep 13 2012

He has the ability not only to make you laugh, but to wince with pain, to feel that you’re being offered tender X-rays into social worlds that are too often ignored by the gatekeepers of mass media.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by David Daley on Sep 10 2012

More than half of these stories — from the four-page "Alma" to the epic "Cheater's Guide to Love" — are virtuosic, command performances that mine the deceptive, lovelorn hearts of men with the blend of tenderness, comedy and vulgarity of early Philip Roth.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Boston Globe

Excellent
Reviewed by Eugenia Williamson on Sep 15 2012

While the tone of “Drown” was deeply sad and “Oscar Wao” both sad and funny, “This Is How You Lose Her” adds a new texture to the Diaz microverse: bitterness.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Louis Peitzman on Sep 12 2012

And the more stories Diaz tells about Yunior, the more the universe expands. "This Is How You Lose Her" only broadens what began with "Drown."

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excellent
Reviewed by Sanjena Sathian on Sep 30 2012

This is How You Lose Her is a rare book, and an important reminder that breathing, pulsating characters can make all-too well-traversed territory feel revolutionary.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

About.com

Good
Reviewed by Cristen Fitzpatrick on Mar 18 2014

Diaz's voice is unmistakable...It is clear that Diaz had fun with language and syntax. He plays with points of view, so that at certain times, you, the reader, become Yunior...

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Ron Hansen on Sep 10 2012

Written in a singular idiom of Spanglish, hip-hop poetry and professorial erudition, it is comic in its mopiness, charming in its madness and irresistible in its heartfelt yearning.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Miami Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Ariel Gonzalez on Sep 16 2012

Although it breaks no new ground, This Is How You Lose Her is an entertaining and satisfying addition to a slender but vital body of work that has helped to nudge our nation’s literature in an inclusive direction.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Maggie Galehouse on Sep 23 2012

Not unconstructed — just easy, without the formal burden of too much closure.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The New Republic

Excellent
Reviewed by Laura Bennett on Sep 17 2012

If the heart of the macho novel is a savageness, a cold self-reliance, the heart of This Is How You Lose Her is an earnest kind of dependency.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Millions

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Bourne on Sep 25 2012

Diaz’s niftiest literary trick is hiding in plain sight: his deft and surprisingly widespread use of the second person.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Wired

Excellent
Reviewed by Erik Wecks on Nov 16 2012

The challenge for men laid out by Díaz is to take an unflinching look at the ways in which we see women, in particular sex with women.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Oprah.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Louisa Ermelino on Sep 01 2012

From a hilarious futuristic novel to a comedy of manners about a late-life love affair, you’ll want to read these literary standouts over and over again.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Paste

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Alford on Dec 04 2012

Díaz’s short stories capture this connection between past and present, between being and becoming, in a way difficult to be replicated in a novel.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Rumpus

Excellent
Reviewed by Devan Schwartz on Sep 18 2012

What I’m left with from this collection, and from Díaz himself, may be the same thing: his ability to be both conversational and formal, eloquent and plainspoken, to say brilliant things Trojan-horsed in slang and self-deprecation, has a way of making you put your guard completely down and be effected in surprising and powerful ways.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Chicago Sun Times

Excellent
Reviewed by DAN OCHWAT on Sep 06 2012

Jasmin. . . is very moving, and I could actually read a novel about her. Maybe call it, “The Long, Harrowing Life of Jasmin”?

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The New York Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Francine Prose on Nov 08 2012

Even the least-inspired stories in This Is How You Lose Her won’t tempt Junot Díaz’s fans to give up on him, or on Yunior.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Los Angeles Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Los Angeles Review of Books on Sep 11 2012

If we focus only on his mastery of these now familiar archetypes, his conjuring of "different worlds," his buffet of "high-low" references, we aren't addressing the core of Diaz’s work.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

New York Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Boris Kachka on Aug 19 2012

The onetime literary “it” kid is still writing like he’s got something to prove. but with his new collection, he’s also got a few things he’d like to tell his swaggering teenage self.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Las Vegas Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Chuck Twardy on Oct 24 2012

Díaz writes in a bracing argot that laces references to Joyce and Melville through a Spanglish that is slanglish, full of fly’s and like’s.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Cnet

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Dreyfuss on Nov 16 2012

Though this book is equally gut-wrenching, it's a lot more accessible.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Columbia:

Excellent
Reviewed by Columbia Journal on Oct 12 2012

The book offers fast-paced, humorous stories about love and betrayal, told by a conversational, earnest narrator — quality entertainment for the reader.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Everyday eBook

Good
Reviewed by Rachel Jacobs on Oct 22 2012

Whether or not he is Díaz's thinly veiled counterpart, Yunior is certainly someone worth revisiting again and again.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

The Tech

Good
Reviewed by Bryan Hernandez on Oct 26 2012

These are not stories you read because they’re new; these are stories you read because they feel real, for better or for worse, and my guess is that these will evoke real feelings for you, too.

Read Full Review of This Is How You Lose Her

Reader Rating for This Is How You Lose Her
73%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1799 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Jay Godfrey 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

Aidan Watson-Morris

Aidan Watson-Morris 3 Mar 2015

Has read the book

David Overton

David Overton 23 Jan 2015

Added the book to want to read list

Eva Hoxha

Eva Hoxha 19 Jan 2014

Added the book to want to read list

Ben Labovitz

Ben Labovitz 23 Nov 2013

Has read the book

Karen Russo

Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Trevor Wiersma

Trevor Wiersma 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Terri McGinty

Terri McGinty 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Vangelis Moraitis

Vangelis Moraitis 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Vincent Gabriele

Vincent Gabriele 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Nitya

Nitya 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Jordan Saxe

Jordan Saxe 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Winnie Lim

Winnie Lim 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Mimi Worzel

Mimi Worzel 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

James J. Stoodt

James J. Stoodt 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Cheryl O'Connor

Cheryl O'Connor 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

Katie Kirner

Katie Kirner 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×