Friday, 30 November 2012

'The half-life of love is forever'- This Is How You Lose Her Review

As much as I love makeup and fashion, books will always come first in my heart. I feel like I haven't read any decent, meaty books in a while so I took a day off this week to do just that.

This Is How You Lose Her by the Dominican-American author Junot Diaz was an excellent choice to thrust me back into the literary world. I'd been meaning to read some Diaz for a few years now and my brother even gave me a copy of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to read this Summer. Lethargy and general laziness prevented me from actually reading it but I remembered Diaz when I was looking for a book to read this week.

TIHYLH is a collection of short stories which all (bar one) have the protagonist Yunior in common. On the surface, this is a book about cheating but Diaz's writing goes so much deeper than that. This is also a book about masculinity, patriarchy, grief, relationships, and yes, as cliched as it is, "the immigrant experience".

Yunior is really quite an unlikeable character but by the end of the book you can't help but fall a little bit in love with him. Diaz's writing made me feel as if I'd truly lived with these characters. Diaz's writing is startlingly authentic and his use of slang, both English and Spanish, does not come across as forced in any way. His writing is littered with expletives and obscenities but you really feel as though they add to the texture of his stories.  Diaz has a poet's ear and his writing is utterly sublime. He manages to sum up the exact moment when you know a relationship is on the downward slope perfectly:

'And that's when I know it's over. As soon as you start thinking about the beginning, it's the end.'

I know I'm drooling now but the final story 'The Cheater's Guide To Love' was an exhilarating read. It's a story about cheating, heartbreak, and its consequences and it stays with you long after you turn the final page. In fact, I was so loathe to leave Yunior and his family behind that I'm currently in the middle of reading Drown, Diaz's first short story collection published in 1996 which also has Yunior as its protagonist. I've been told that I should have have read Diaz's books in chronological order as they all have Yunior as the narrator but I didn't feel as though I was missing out on anything major when I read TIHYLH.

I could go on about this book forever but this has already gone on longer than I intended it to. I'll leave you with a short passage from which we get the title of the book. Yunior has just been caught cheating (for the nth time) from his girlfriend reading his journal:

"Instead of lowering your head and copping to it like a man, you pick up the journal as one might hold a baby's beshatted diaper, as one might pinch a recently benutted condom. You glance at the offending passages. Then you look at her and smile a smile your dissembling face will remember until the day you die. Baby, you say, baby, this is part of my novel.
This is how you lose her."
Junot Diaz

Love and great books,

Nana Adomah

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Lime And Fur

Yes, this OOTD is about 3 weeks late but better late than never eh? We were having a bit of a cold spell so I took the opportunity to bust out my tattered "fur".

I went full-on with the makeup too. It was just that kind of day. I used my oft-neglected Sleek "Storm" palette and had "Jubilee" by MAC on my lips. I'm still not convinced that nude lipstick suits me but I had no other option with that heavy eye makeup.

Dress: Custom-made by my seamstress in Ghana
Blazer: Talbots
Bag: Zara
Shoes: Charlotte Russe
Fur Collar: New Look

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving which was made all the better with a visit from my sister from another mother (hey Aks!) all the way from London. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving too.

Love and joy,

Nana Adomah