In case you're not familiar with Junot Diaz's, This is How You Lose Her, here's a little taste.
You, Yunior, have a girlfriend named Alma, wo has a long tender horse neck and a big Dominican ass that seems to exist in a fourth dimension beyond jeans. An ass that could drag the moon out of orbit. An ass she never liked until she met you. Ain't a day that passes that you don't want to press your face against that ass or bite the delicate sliding tendons of her neck. You love how she shivers when you bite, how she fights you with those arms that are so skinny they belong in an after-school special.It's writing so real and raw with such an amazing voice I almost can't bear the knowledge I'm halfway done. My only consolation is I haven't read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which now feels like the rainbow promise of an ice cream cone treat.
My absorption with this book was evident when my son found me last weekend in the living room, nose to page, curled in a ball on the couch.
"Whatcha reading, Mom?" he asked and then, when I didn't immediately respond, proceeded to slow read the title from the front cover. "This. Is. How. You. Lose. Her." He thought about the name for a minute and then said, "I hear that's a great book."
"You do?" I said looking up, which is what he wanted in the first place. "Who do you hear that from?"
"My teacher. She's been talking about it a lot."
"She has." I said with a smile.
"Yeah," he nodded his head like the coolest kid on the block and added, "She's thinking about reading it to us out loud as soon as she finishes it."
"Really?" I asked and tried to stifle the giggle that threatened to escape at the image of twenty-two second graders assembled on the rug, eyes wide as their teacher reads aloud from a book about the ways humanity searches for passion and, all too often, settles for frail substitutes. Oh, and not to mention the sex and the drugs.
But it is kind of cool my kid wants to talk to me and knows how to get me to look up from my book without being obnoxious, so I smiled instead of laughed and said, "So This Is How You Lose Her is next on the list after Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?"
"Yeah." He climbed up in my lap and did that thing where he pets me like a dog.
I put the book down and surrendered to his gummy-fingered affections. "Okay. Tell me all your favorite parts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
Which he did and fortunately he didn't ask me to reciprocate.