What is the summary of "This is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz?

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jcross373 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is How You Lose Her is written by Junot Diaz. The collection of nine short stories ("The Sun, The Moon, The Stars", "Nilda", "Alma", "Flaca", "Otravida, Otravez", "The Cheater’s Guide to Love", "The Pura Principle", "Miss Lora", and "Invierno") is Diaz's second collection of short stories.

  • "The Sun, The Moon, The Stars" is about Yunior unsuccessfully trying to mend his relationship with Magdalena. 
  • "Nilda" focuses on the character Nilda who is the girlfriend of Rafa, Yunior's brother. She constantly stays the night at Rafa's house, because her mother stays drunk. Nilda and Yunior bond because of frequent talks while his brother works. 
  • "Alma" is the shortest story in this collection of short stories. Alma learns that Yunior is cheating on her with someone else. Instead of having a private conversation, she waits to confront him publicly. 
  • "Flaca" is a story that introduces the relationship of Flaca and Yunior. The two meet in college and continue a relationship for about two years.
  • "Otravida, Otravez" is the only story that does not focus on a break-up or bad relationship. This story is also told from the perspective of a female and not a male. 
  • "The Cheater’s Guide to Love" chronicles five years of Yunior's life and many of his relationships. The story links his relationships to his friend Elvis, who is a military veteran. Yunior had multiple relationships and was frequently caught cheating on his lovers.
  • "The Pura Principle" is told by Yunior and he discusses his brother and his battle with cancer. The reader also learns of Rafa's marriage to Pura, which puts a damper on his relationship with Yunior. 
  • "Miss Lora" is a story about Miss Lora, who is the neighbor of Yunior.  The two end up having a physical relationship. Yunior is later shocked when she takes a job as a substitute teacher at his school.
  • "Invierno" is a very depressing story. The reader learns about the family's hardship after arriving to the United States from Santo Domingo. The boys' father moved the family to New Jersey and works all the time. Their mother is very depressed and the boys struggle in school. 

Most of the author's stories discuss infidelity and the hardships of men finding true relationships. Finally, toward the end of the story, Yunior begins to truly like a woman and see her as a human being.

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