Sex, Lies, and Diaspora: Constructions of Masculinity and Compulsive Infidelity in Junot Díaz's "The Cheater's Guide to Love"

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Student Presentation

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Ralph Clare


In his most recent collection of short stories, This is How You Lose Her, Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz writes about the many experiences of the Dominican immigrant experience in the Eastern U.S. The final story in the collection, “The Cheater’s Guide to Love,” follows Yunior, a compulsive adulterer who must navigate his way through a diaspora, self-constructions of Dominican masculinity, and an inability to form authentic relationships.

In my essay, I examine Yunior’s constructions of Dominican-American masculinity, and the ways such constructions may contribute to his compulsive infidelity. I am particularly interested in Yunior’s inability to see women as fully human, and the ways his personal constructs of masculinity as well as his perpetual hovering between two worlds contributes to this. Additionally, Yunior’s failed attempts at relationships with women often mirror his relationship with Santo Domingo, which is of great interest in my paper. In addition to scholarly works and essays, I will also be using book reviews and interviews with Díaz to explore Yunior’s character, his motivations and limitations, and ultimately how he navigates the world Díaz has created for him.

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