‘Alma’ by Junot Díaz


Alma by Junot Díaz, 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 Díaz.

“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 Díaz’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.


As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

2 thoughts on “‘Alma’ by Junot Díaz

  1. 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.”

    • 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!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s