Selected first sentences, from short stories in This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz:
“I’m not a bad guy.”
“Nilda was my brother’s girlfriend. This is how all these stories begin.”
“You, Yunior, have a girlfriend named Alma, who has a long tender horse neck and a big Dominican ass that seems to exist in a fourth dimension beyond jeans.”
“Your girl catches you cheating. (Well, actually she’s your fiancee, but hey, in a bit it so won’t matter.”)
“Those last months.”
“Years later you would wonder if it hadn’t been for your brother would you have done it?”
As fate would have it, one day in April when I went to Joe Bean (whose website has great photos, including one by A. Hallinan) to meet my son and have a cup of incredible coffee, I was given a free book, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz in celebration of World Book Night.
I haven’t read this Pulitzer Prize winning book yet, so I thought I would now, right along with This Is How You Lose Her. Both books feature the narrator, Yunior, who, according to NPR reviewer Carmen Gimenez Smith, “might someday rank with Philip Roth’s Nathan Zuckerman or John Updike’s Harry Angstrom as an enduring American literary protagonist.”
While we’re getting to know this next great American literary protagonist, whose native land is the Dominican Republic, I’ll be posting from Argentina, where I’ll also be rereading Imagining Argentina, visiting a larger-than-life bookstore, and….well, we’ll see.
Quotes from This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Diaz, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012.