This is How You Lose Her
by: Junot Díaz
There are very few books that I absolutely demand that people read sometime in their life. I have a lot of books which I think people should read but few which I believe people must read. Of course This is How You Lose Her is one of those books.
It’s hard for me to start with this one, the book contains so many different angles that it’s difficult to pick out the single greatest one or the one which is going to get the most people to read it. Luckily you don’t need my opinion because everyone pretty much agrees this book is fantastic (seriously just google it and see all the reviews) so go read those guys if you want a real honest review.
What I can say with my short attention span and neurotic need to write something about the books I read is that you should absolutely read this book after a relationship, regardless of the outcome of your relationship. (Mine was personally a great and absolutely perfect ending but still this book was something else). Of course I can’t say this book is just about relationships and love; it’s about love sure but it’s about some other form of love, some higher journey of love that goes beyond the simple attraction of two people.
This book isn’t just about her or relationships, and shocker, this is how you lose her isn’t really about the pain of losing someone but something else that I think the last paragraph in the book makes abundantly clear. What this book’s really about is the journey of life and the people that inhabit that journey. It’s about differences and racism and class inequality and family and friendship and sex and there’s so much more to it that your brain is bound to become overwhelmed.
Díaz writes his book in an almost short-story format and yet the characters are the same, just not chronologically arranged. But aside from simply writing in short bursts of individual stories he’s also playing with the format of each piece. No two pieces are alike and I think that’s what’s beautiful: each story is its own collective love within the broader context of a larger life of love. It’s something I could only dream of doing at my current writing level, but something Díaz has completely stirred inside of me. From a writing standpoint he crafts this wonderfully.
Though the joy of This is How You Lose Her, most likely comes from Díaz voice: a rich mixture of english and spanish, formal and informal parades itself around in his writing filling the characters with life.
I could go on, but suffice to say, this book warrants not only a read but a purchase. Go, go now.