Junot Diaz’s latest book, This Is How You Lose Her, is an example of cultural and intellectual persuasion that delivers the very poignant reality of cultural indoctrination and assimilation gone wrong. The work presents the uncut experience of the Dominican immigrant in America. Sexism and self-loathing are omnipresent themes throughout. This is most evident through the constant use of the n-word.
Diaz expresses that in the Dominican culture, as with the African American culture, beauty is determined by physical features and hair textures. The more coiled the hair and darker the skin, the less you are seen as beautiful for both men and women.
Occupational positions, bloody bed sheets, and a sexually active brother all play equal roles in Diaz’s experiences and outlook. He revisits many of the tragedies found in public tenements.
The book speaks to men that are unable to accept and be loved in permanent relationships because of fear or inadequacy. These men Diaz speaks of put sexual gratification ahead of everything, consciously or unconsciously sabotaging any chance at real, meaningful relationships.
Diaz’s experience is reminiscent of many Black males: absent father, single mother household. This is a great read for men of color who are in danger of repeating their father’s mistakes and continuing the cycle.
Some who read This is How You Lose Her may understand the perspective while others may not be able to comprehend the message being relayed, which often is the case.