Full Colour Formula,
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This review is from: This Is How You Lose Her (Paperback)
'There are many formulas.' So goes a line from the narrator of a story about a guy trying to get over losing a woman who dumped him for his serial cheating. The self-obsessed, womanising, hard-thinking, hard working Dominican American male is what Diaz knows best, and this humorous, linguistically creative and tender collection of short stories explores some of his more defining predicaments. Maleness, womanhood, passion, longing and family loyalties are touchstones in all of these loosely linked stories, and the writing is quick and sharp and laced with vernacular. At times I may have felt slightly challenged by Diaz's choice of phraseology, but that made the book more interesting and is possibly its cutting edge. Diaz seems sometimes to be brazenly reclaiming, in a highly literate articulation of the language and cultural mores of a specific community group, a certain perception of women and the right to flaunt stereotype. Maybe, maybe not. But this is Pulitzer prose, and Diaz's unique formula wins again because it appears so casual, terse and effortless.
The unfortunate garish cover of this edition (it is such a monstrous design choice) hides a great little insight into the Dominican American world, one that is full of real colour and character. Stick it on your shelf.