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In most cases, the proposition of reading a short story collection filled with "love stories" would leave close-minded dudes laughing while reaching for the nearest copy of Hustler. When it's Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Junot Díaz who's dictating the softened tales, however, there's no need to anticipate hokey sap.

In the Jersey guy's critically acclaimed This is How You Lose Her, with his fluid, sensitive, and often very funny prose, he captures the joys and heartache of people guided by their hearts' compasses, whether it's a lady who's cleaning her married lover's clothes or a hardened woman who views all Dominican men as cheaters.