On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness―and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.
In this rueful story collection, Díaz fashions tales of regret and wonder at the promise and difficulties of life for young men and women as they experience the cultural madnesses that intrude upon love. Díaz has created an open, streetwise diction that combines high and low, Spanish and English, an erudition of cool ambivalence and heat: the resulting voice, as it delineates both heartbreak and comedy, is electrifying and unprecedented in American literature.