Thursday, 27 February 2014

This is How You Lose Her

This is a book written by the upcoming author Junot Díaz, a Dominican-American. I was keeping an eye open for potential romance novels for valentine (yes, I know that was two weeks ago), and this seemed reasonably suitable.
This book contains several short stories about a Dominican called Yunior. He isn’t born in the best circumstances – his father is working hard in America so his family can one day join him, his brother is quite a player and his mother has a praying group that he calls the horsefaces of the apocalypse. Things go further and further downhill – he himself can’t quite keep it in his pants as he cheats time and time again, as a sort of comfort blanket he keeps returning to, his brother is diagnosed with cancer, America is cold, and his true loves keep abandoning him when they find out about his cheating.
The short stories cut the book in easy-to-consume chapters, which aren’t chronologically and you can’t quite work out the whole story until you’ve finished the last short story. They are all laced with Spanish, which was a bit of an obstacle for me. I can understand the basic ‘por favor’ and ‘puta madre’ but then there are these:

…My mother would take food out of Pura’s hands, but as soon as mami turned around Pura would be back in the fridge helping herself. Even told mami that she should paint the apartment. You need color in here. Esta sala está muerta.
I shouldn’t laugh, but it was all kinda funny.
And the horsefaces? They could have moderated things a little, don’t you think, but they were, like, fuck that, what are friendships for if not for instigating? They beat the anti-Pura drums daily. Ella es prieta. Ella es fea. Ella dejó un hijo en Santo Domingo. Ella tiene otro aquí. No tiene hombre. No tiene dinero. No tiene papeles. qué tú crees que ella busca por aquí?...

And of course I can put it all through google translate, but I get the gist and I’m lazy. Also if I try reading next to the computer I end up closing the book and scrolling on 9gag for the next hour instead. But I do think that if you studied Spanish for a year or know the basics you’ll get more out of it than I did.
Still, the book wasn’t really my style. I loved the similes, but I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Until next time,


1 comment:

  1. This is what I love about my e-reader (yeah, I know, but hear me out!): whenever I see a word I don't know, I have only to tap it with my stylus and - tadaam! - dictionary entry! It does translations too. :)