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3.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 53.86 out of 5 3.86 (22 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Junot Díaz Narrator: Junot Díaz Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781101579428
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Junot Díaz burst into the literary world with Drown, a collection of indelible stories that revealed a major new writer with the “eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet” (Newsweek). His eagerly awaited first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, arrived like a thunderclap, topping best-of-the-year lists and winning a host of major awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. Now Díaz turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love.

The stories in This Is How You Lose Her, by turns hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts. They capture the heat of new passion, the recklessness with which we betray what we most treasure, and the torture we go through—“the begging, the crawling over glass, the crying”—to try to mend what we’ve broken beyond repair. They recall the echoes that intimacy leaves behind, even where we thought we did not care. They teach us the catechism of affections: that the faithlessness of the fathers is visited upon the children; that what we do unto our exes is inevitably done in turn unto us; and that loving thy neighbor as thyself is a commandment more safely honored on platonic than erotic terms. Most of all, these stories remind us that the habit of passion always triumphs over experience, and that “love, when it hits us for real, has a half-life of forever.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • Searing, irresistible new stories… It’s a harsh world Díaz conjures but one filled also with beauty and humor and buoyed by the stubborn resilience of the human spirit. People
  • Junot Díaz has one of the most distinctive and magnetic voices in contemporary fiction: limber, streetwise, caffeinated and wonderfully eclectic… The strongest tales are those fueled by the verbal energy and magpie language that made Brief Wondrous Life so memorable and that capture Yunior’s efforts to commute between two cultures, Dominican and American, while always remaining an outsider. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times 
  • These stories… are virtuosic, command performances that mine the deceptive, lovelorn hearts of men with the blend of tenderness, comedy and vulgarity of early Philip Roth. It's Díaz's voice that's such a delight, and it is every bit his own, a melting-pot pastiche of Spanglish and street slang, pop culture and Dominican culture, and just devastating descriptive power, sometimes all in the same sentence. USA Today 
  • Impressive… comic in its mopiness, charming in its madness and irresistible in its heartfelt yearning. The Washington Post
  • The dark ferocity of each of these stories and the types of love it portrays is reason enough to celebrate this book. But the collection is also a major contribution to the short story form... It is an engrossing, ambitious book for readers who demand of their fiction both emotional precision and linguistic daring. NPR
  • The centripetal force of Díaz’s sensibility and the slangy bar-stool confidentiality of his voice that he makes this hybridization feel not only natural and irresistible, but inevitable, the voice of the future… [This is How You Lose Her] manages to be achingly sad and joyful at the same time. Its heart is true, even if Yunior’s isn’t. Salon
  • [A] propulsive new collection… [that] succeeds not only because of the author's gift for exploring the nuances of the male… but because of a writing style that moves with the rhythm and grace of a well-danced merengue. Seattle Times 
     
  • In Díaz’s magisterial voice, the trials and tribulations of sex-obsessed objectifiers become a revelation. The Boston Globe
  • Scooch over, Nathan Zuckerman. New Jersey has bred a new literary bad boy… A. Entertainment Weekly
  • Ribald, streetwise, and stunningly moving—a testament, like most of his work, to the yearning, clumsy ways young men come of age. Vogue
  • [An] excellent new collection of stories… [Díaz is] an energetic stylist who expertly moves between high-literary storytelling and fizzy pop, between geek culture and immigrant life, between romance and high drama. IndieBound
  • Junot Díaz writes in an idiom so electrifying and distinct it’s practically an act of aggression, at once enthralling, even erotic in its assertion of sudden intimacy… [It is] a syncopated swagger-step between opacity and transparency, exclusion and inclusion, defiance and desire… His prose style is so irresistible, so sheerly entertaining, it risks blinding readers to its larger offerings. Yet he weds form so ideally to content that instead of blinding us, it becomes the very lens through which we can see the joy and suffering of the signature Díaz subject: what it means to belong to a diaspora, to live out the possibilities and ambiguities of perpetual insider/outsider status. The New York Times Book Review
  • Nobody does scrappy, sassy, twice-the-speed of sound dialogue better than Junot Díaz. His exuberant short story collection, called This Is How You Lose Her, charts the lives of Dominican immigrants for whom the promise of America comes down to a minimum-wage paycheck, an occasional walk to a movie in a mall and the momentary escape of a grappling in bed. Maureen Corrigan, NPR
  • Exhibits the potent blend of literary eloquence and street cred that earned him a Pulitzer Prize… Díaz’s prose is vulgar, brave, and poetic. O Magazine
  • Díaz’s third book is as stunning as its predecessors. These stories are hard and sad, but in Díaz’s hands they also crackle. Library Journal (starred review)
  • Taken together, [these stories’] braggadocio softens into something much more vulnerable and devastating. The intimacy and immediacy… is not just seductive but downright conspiratorial… A heartbreaker. The Daily Beast
  • Díaz manages a seamless blend of high diction and low, of poetry and vulgarity… Look no further for home truths on sex and heartbreak. The Economist
  • This collection of stories, like everything else [Díaz has] written, feels vital in the literal sense of the word. Tough, smart, unflinching, and exposed, This is How You Lose Her is the perfect reminder of why Junot Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize… [He] writes better about the rapid heartbeat of urban life than pretty much anyone else. The Christian Science Monitor
  • Filled with Díaz’s signature searing voice, loveable/despicable characters and so-true-it-hurts goodness. Flavorwire
  • Díaz writes with subtle and sharp brilliance… He dazzles us with his language skills and his story-making talents, bringing us a narrative that is starkly vernacular and sophisticated, stylistically complex and direct… A spectacular read. Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • [This is How You Lose Her] has maturity in content, if not in ethical behavior… Díaz’s 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. The Rumpus
  • As tales of relationship redemption go, each of the nine relatable short stories in Junot Díaz's consummate collection This Is How You Lose Her triumphs… Through interrogative second-person narration and colloquial language peppered with Spanish, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author authentically captures Junior's cultural and emotional dualities. Metro
  • Searing, sometimes hilarious, and always disarming… Readers will remember why everyone wants to write like Díaz, bring him home, or both. Raw and honest, these stories pulsate with raspy ghetto hip-hop and the subtler yet more vital echo of the human heart. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Junot Díaz  writes in an idiom so electrifying and distinct it’s practically an act of aggression, at once enthralling, even erotic in its assertion of sudden intimacy…[It is] a syncopated swagger-step between opacity and transparency, exclusion and inclusion, defiance and desire…His prose style is so irresistible, so sheerly entertaining, it risks blinding readers to its larger offerings. Yet he weds form so ideally to content that instead of blinding us, it becomes the very lens through which we can see the joy and suffering of the signature Díaz  subject: what it means to belong to a diaspora, to live out the possibilities and ambiguities of perpetual insider/outsider status.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Díaz’s standout fiction remains pinpoint, sinuous, gutsy, and imaginative… Each taut tale of unrequited and betrayed love and family crises is electric with passionate observations and off-the-charts emotional and social intelligence… Fast-paced, unflinching, complexly funny, street-talking tough, perfectly made, and deeply sensitive, Díaz’s gripping stories unveil lives shadowed by prejudice and poverty and bereft of reliable love and trust. These are precarious, unappreciated, precious lives in which intimacy is a lost art, masculinity a parody, and kindness, reason, and hope struggle to survive like seedlings in a war zone. Booklist (starred review)
  • Magnificent… an exuberant rendering of the driving rhythms and juicy Spanglish vocabulary of immigrant speech… sharply observed and morally challenging. Kirkus
  • A beautifully stirring look at ruined relationships and lost love—and a more than worthy follow-up to [Díaz’s] 2007 Pulitzer winner, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Bookpage
  • In This Is How You Lose Her, Díaz writes with subtlety and grace, once again demonstrating his remarkable facility for developing fully-realized and authentic characters with an economical rawness... Díaz skillfully portrays his protagonist so vividly, and with so  much apparent honesty, that Yunior’s voice comes across with an immediacy that never once feels inauthentic. California Literary Review
  • Díaz continues to dazzle with his dynamite, street-bruised wit. The bass line of this collection is a thumpingly raw and sexual foray into lives that claw against poverty and racism. It is a wild rhythm that makes more vivid the collection’s heart-busted steadiness. Dallas Morning News
  • “Impressive…comic in its mopiness, charming in its madness and irresistible in its heartfelt yearning.”

    Washington Post

  • “In Díaz’s magisterial voice, the trials and tribulations of sex-obsessed objectifiers become a revelation.”

    Boston Globe

  • “These stories…are virtuosic, command performances that mine the deceptive, lovelorn hearts of men with the blend of tenderness, comedy and vulgarity of early Philip Roth. It's Díaz’s voice that's such a delight, and it is every bit his own, a melting-pot pastiche of Spanglish and street slang, pop culture and Dominican culture, and just devastating descriptive power, sometimes all in the same sentence.”

    USA Today

  • “This collection of stories, like everything else [Díaz has] written, feels vital in the literal sense of the word. Tough, smart, unflinching, and exposed, This is How You Lose Her is the perfect reminder of why Junot Díaz won the Pulitzer Prize...[He] writes better about the rapid heartbeat of urban life than pretty much anyone else.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Exhibits the potent blend of literary eloquence and street cred that earned him a Pulitzer Prize…Diaz’s prose is vulgar, brave, and poetic.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Searing, irresistible new stories…It’s a harsh world Díaz conjures but one filled also with beauty and humor and buoyed by the stubborn resilience of the human spirit.”

    People

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

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Ribald, streetwise, and stunningly moving—a testament, like most of his work, to the yearning, clumsy ways young men come of age.”

    Vogue

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the November 2012 Indie Next List
  • One of the 2012 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Fiction
  • A 2012 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book, September 2012
  • A 2012 Slate Magazine Best Book: Staff Pick
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • An 2012 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • One of Newsday’s Favorite Books of the Year in 2012
  • A 2012 Booklist Editors’ Choice Selection for Fiction
  • A 2012 BookPage Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 eMusic Best Audiobook of the Year
  • A 2012 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 ALA Notable Book
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Story Prize for Short Fiction Finalist
  • A 2012 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2012 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anthony Landi | 1/31/2014

    " Not quite as good as Oscar Wao, but a good book nonetheless. Gives much more details about Yunior's life, which is pretty interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Filipczak | 1/13/2014

    " A gritty and profane book, yet also surprisingly appealing. The main character is Yunior is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who lives in New Jersey and later Boston as a professor. The book chronicles his stories of love, loss and growing up in a Latino family and community. I would recommend it but some may find the language shocking so don't suggest it to your mom. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kdemart | 1/12/2014

    " This book is about Yunior and the way he loves people - his brother, mother, and women. Written as short stories, the book goes quickly but the nuance and subtleties what traps you. It's hard to like Yunior but it's clear he doesn't like himself that much either. Truly a great and different writer, Diaz has his own style, much like James Frey. A really enjoyable read that - if you're not Hispanic - is an education in Dominican and immigrant culture in the US. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elle M. | 12/16/2013

    " what a train wreck! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 12/14/2013

    " Very well written. I loved that each chapter was its own short story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 12/5/2013

    " Wonderful book. Lovely to read something that doesn't fit any category. And, yeah, the narrator can teach you a lot about how to lose her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia Baker | 11/12/2013

    " As usual, Diaz delivers electric, honest prose. He experiments with different forms and chronicles his life through love, all different forms of love, told with a fresh, original voice. I could not put this book down and I only wish it was longer so I had more to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lillian Collins | 11/11/2013

    " Would give 5 but just didn't feel connected to any of the characters. The setting was more real to me...surface stories...atmospheric. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peg Mckinney | 10/26/2013

    " Comfortable Reading -- like you're in your recliner listening to the author talk. I liked t5hat the conversations were sprinkled with lots of Dominican Republidc street slang. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dede Murphy | 10/17/2013

    " This was an especially good audiobook, read by the author. I gave it 4 stars because the narration was so well done. I'm sure I missed a bit in translation of some of the Spanish expressions, but the meaning was pretty well conveyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley Payne-laird | 8/27/2013

    " Loved the style of writing and the shift in POV. You love and hate the men of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabeeha Kurji | 8/10/2013

    " I love this author's voice. Smart yet casual and you can really feel his characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annaka | 8/9/2013

    " Really good, but I missed Oscar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victor Giron | 7/9/2013

    " Damn, homey can still write. great stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitney Hardy | 7/8/2013

    " A book about a Dominican man who cheats on everyone he dates, regardless if he is in love or not. Interesting perspective, but the main characters are far from sympathetic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Wanden | 6/25/2013

    " Read this in just a few days. Enjoyed it so much. i reserved his other book a pullitzer prize best fiction of 2007 book The Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao. Looking forward to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Plummer | 4/13/2013

    " Some moments of poignancy but ultimately I didn't feel invested in any of the characters, especially the protagonist in most of the stories, Yunior. I learned a bit about Dominican culture but ultimately feel like I just watched an interesting documentary, rather than read a great story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mollyj | 3/7/2013

    " This book was great. Although short stories, it had a woven thread throughout and kept my attention the entire time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Krepps | 3/4/2013

    " The last story (the one published in the NYer) is terrific and the rest are solid, but it just didn't grab me. I thought "Oscar Wao" was incredible, so perhaps my expectations were too high. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 2/15/2013

    " Meh. Well written but didn't really care about the protagonist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy Weston | 10/1/2012

    " I enjoyed the writing, and the New Jersey setting but overall this was not really my sort of thing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cindy Hartner | 9/27/2012

    " Not a very reflective work. No lessons, no change. Kind of a self-indulgent blog of the result of a defective hormone off-switch. Wouldn't have finished it if not for book club. Soldiered on. "

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About the Author

Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Drown; The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, he is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and The Rudge and works as the Nancy Allen professor of writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.