Monday, 15 June 2015

Caroline vs. This Is How You Lose Her


I'd seen This Is How You Lose Her floating around blogs and my social media feeds, so when I saw it in a small bookstore after finishing Norwegian Wood I decided to jump on the bandwagon.  This is the first time I've read anything by Junot Díaz, and I really enjoyed it.  It's a collection of short stories presented out of chronological order, following the life of narrator Yunior and his relationships with family, friends, and women while growing up as a Dominican immigrant to industrial New Jersey.  It's vulgar, blunt, and very compelling.

These passages stood out to me:
"Did you like fucking her?  To be honest, baby, it was lousy.  That one is never very believable but you got to say it anyway no matter how stupid and unreal it sounds: say it." p.6
"He noticed her because she was wearing these ridiculous shorts and this tank that couldn't have blocked a sneeze and a thin roll of stomach was poking from between the fabrics and he smiled at her and she got real serious and uncomfortable and he told her to fix him some iced tea and she told him to fix it himself.  You a guest here, he said.  You should be earning your fucking keep." p.36
"We could start over.  It's possible but neither of us speaks for a long time and the moment closes and we're back in the world we've always known." p.45
"You'd think, given the blood we see, that there's a great war going on out in the world.  Just the one inside of bodies, the new girl says." p.59
"We have to sit down after a while so that  can hold her hand and she can cry.  I should say something but I don't know where a person can start." p.82
"Despite the proximity of the college, we're the only customers, us and a three-legged cat.  You sit yourself down in an aisle and start searching through the boxes.  The cat goes right for you.  I flip through the histories." p.89
"(I didn't lift a fucking finger in our apartment, male privilege, baby.)" p.97
"Maybe she just doesn't like children.  Nobody likes children, your mother assured you.  That doesn't mean you don't have them." p.162
"Boston, where you never wanted to live, where you feel you've been exiled to, becomes a serious problem.  You have trouble adjusting to it full-time; to its trains that stop running at midnight, to the glumness of its inhabitants, to its startling lack of Sichuan food." p.188
"At the end of the semester she returns home.  My home, not your home, she says tetchily.  She's always trying to prove you're not Dominican." p.205
"And then one June night you scribble the ex's name and: The half-life of love is forever." p.225
xx, C.

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