This is How You Lose Her, by

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1: Men and women play many roles throughout this collection of short stories, but one unifying theme seems to be the toxicity of masculinity and the plight of the female in general (and of the Latina female specifically) within American culture. Look at the ways in which Díaz portrays men, manhood, manliness and masculinity, especially in relation to romantic entanglements. How do characters’ ideas about what it means to be a man affect the way they treat women? What does Díaz seem to be telling us about masculinity in America, or masculinity within Latino culture, or both? Try researching the Domincan Republic and masculinity within the Latino world (machismo). 

2: Think about the ways Díaz uses language: what does he accomplish through mixing Spanish and English? What kind of “register” do the narrators speak with? In what ways do formal and informal speech work together to build the themes explored in this work? What does it mean to be reading a book within the realm of American literature, but which utilizes supposedly foreign languages, references to pop culture and science fiction, and colloquial speech as driving stylistic forces? Why does Díaz do this? You might look into the history of Chicano literature for more information on mixing languages. 

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