Breaking easily and often out of first-person narration to address his readers directly, Díaz flatters us with his confidences. Yet his prose also throws up walls, equally abruptly and equally seductively. Refusing to condescend or even pause for edification, the narrative moves along at speed, exciting us with its demands ... His new collection, This Is How You Lose Her, can stand on its own, but fans will be glad to hear that it brings back Yunior, who narrated several of the stories in Díaz’s first collection, Drown, as well as parts of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ... His prose style is so irresistible, so sheerly entertaining, it risks blinding readers to its larger offerings ... The book is billed as a collection of love stories, but for all the sexy bits and all the heartache, for all that four of the nine stories are named for lovers and eight of the nine revolve around relationships gone sour, Díaz is most affecting when he’s writing about the inescapable undertow of family history and cultural mores, about the endless difficulty of loving oneself.
...Yunior, returns to narrate the nine linked stories of Diaz’s impressive new story collection, This Is How You Lose Her ...the pattern for most of the stories that feature Yunior, a pining, self-lacerating, weed-smoking schmo who confuses lust with love and generally wrecks his relationships with jealousy, infidelity, machismo or the sheer inability to act ... 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.
Reading the stories in Díaz's new collection, This Is How You Lose Her, is often a three-dimensional, laugh-out-loud experience. It's the voice that transports you: erudite, Caribbean, bilingually foul-mouthed, channeling the assorted insanities of Dominicans, New Jerseyites and English professors ... It's not just Díaz's eye for the idiosyncrasies of his characters that make these stories so funny and moving: It's also his fierce wordplay and inventiveness. He's a writer who's at once disciplined and free-spirited, as comfortable in his Latin skin as he is in his English prose ... In the end, it's the voice of male-driven sex and love obsessions that makes Díaz's stories most memorable. He writes best about players. But they're guilt-ridden players, men of many foibles...there is great literature.