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Junot Díaz and the Decolonial Imagination

Edited by
Monica Hanna
Monica Hanna

Monica Hanna is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Jennifer Harford Vargas is Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College.

José David Saldívar is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University and the author of Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico, also published by Duke University Press.

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Jennifer Harford Vargas
Jennifer Harford Vargas

Monica Hanna is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Jennifer Harford Vargas is Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College.

José David Saldívar is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University and the author of Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico, also published by Duke University Press.

Search for other works by this author on:
José David Saldívar
José David Saldívar

Monica Hanna is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Fullerton.

Jennifer Harford Vargas is Assistant Professor of English at Bryn Mawr College.

José David Saldívar is Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University and the author of Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico, also published by Duke University Press.

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Duke University Press
ISBN electronic:
978-0-8223-7476-3
Publication date:
2016
Book Chapter

Sucia Love: Losing, Lying, and Leaving in Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her

By
Deborah R. Vargas
Deborah R. Vargas
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Published:
January 2016

In This Is How You Lose Her, Díaz focuses on themes of intimacy and love. In the book, love is fraught, deceiving, and illusive—as demonstrated in stories ranging from the sexual exploits of Yunior’s brother to his father’s extramarital affair—and love is a sentiment that is socially constructed through immigrant class experience, racialized poverty, and geographies of race in the Dominican diaspora. This chapter focuses on the collection’s racialized construction of gender and sexuality through the politics of lo sucio: the unclean, the filthy, the imperfect. The chapter considers the ways lo sucio operates as a structural metonym for nonnormative constructions of intimacy, sexual desire, and kinship. In other words, the sucias and sucios of Diaz’s book inhabit racialized genders and sexualities that represent the deficit citizenry of institutional regimes of normative love and intimacy, including marriage, monogamy, biological reproduction, fidelity, and commitment.

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