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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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