26 July, 2021

Your Twice-Broken Heart

Diaz is skilful to say the least: electrifying idiom, convincing characters, dark humour, and a nuanced and thrilling narrative.

Your Twice-Broken Heart

Junot Diaz does not publish a book every third year, which is what the literary rat race gets many writers to do. This is not necessarily good or bad, though Diaz has gone on record urging writers to slow down. After all, having won a well-deserved Pulitzer with The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Diaz can afford to publish at his own pace. But, if he had less talent, the fleeting years would add up to what is sometimes called a ‘writer’s block’.  Fortunately, that is not the case with Diaz: his third book, published five years after the last one, has been well worth the wait.

At its simplest, Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her is a collection of funny and heart-rending stories, each one about love, or rather about lovers and relationships. The brutal humanity of the relationships as they form, flounder and fail is communicated in a language that Diaz had already mastered in his first collection, Drown. The women and men who come across in the stories—the artistic Alma, the older Miss Lora—are communicated...

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