‘Alma’ by Junot Diaz

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Alma by Junot Diaz, 2007

The magic trick:

Treating the end of a relationship with humor

We’ve had too much happiness here at SSMT this Valentine’s Week. Time for a good old-fashioned story about love gone wrong. Enter Junot Diaz.

“Alma” is a very funny story. Yunior, as always, is straight-to-the-point about why the relationship started and why it failed. His descriptions and pop-culture references are easily relatable and funny. The conflict is a classic: Alma discovers Yunior’s journal entry confessing to his cheating with another girl from school. His excuse – “Baby, this is part of my novel.” – is pretty good.

The end of a relationship doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom. “Alma” reminds us that, with some perspective at least, it can be pretty damn funny. And that’s quite a trick on Diaz’s part.

The selection:

Alma is slender as a reed, you a steroid-addicted block; Alma loves driving, you books; Alma owns a Saturn (bought for her by her carpenter father, who speaks only English in the house), you have no points on your license; Alma’s nails are too dirty for cooking, your spaghetti con pollo is the best in the land.

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2 Comments on “‘Alma’ by Junot Diaz”

  1. Jay says:

    I just read Diaz’s short story “Monstro” yesterday morning for my Deal Me In project. It was the first work of his I’ve read, though I’ve been aware of him for a while now. His voice was certainly unique and though that particular story – even with the fascinating premise – was not my cup of tea, I will probably be exploring him further. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on “Alma.”

    • bcw56 says:

      I’m not sure Diaz is entirely my cup of tea either, but I keep trying! Meanwhile, readers: you can check out Jay’s post about “Monstro” here. As always, appreciate your thoughtful thoughts, Jay!


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