Junot Díaz crafts a language of sensitive machismo in his work. In his 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Díaz’s mooning titular character prays for romantic love while obsessing over science fiction, his story related by the acerbic voice of Yunior de Las Casas. A frequent first-person narrator of Díaz’s stories (including many in his debut short-story collection, Drown), Yunior returns to serve that function in most of the nine short stories in Díaz’s latest, This Is How You Lose Her. Díaz’s ability to code the hard truth in poetic language is what makes his texts dreamily effortless and frank. In particular, Lose Her’s last prickly tale, “The Cheater’s Guide to Love,” sounds a bit like The Newsroom’s romantic backstory penned by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Sat., Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m., $15, with Samuel R. Delany, Free Library, 1901 Vine St., 215- 686-5322, freelibrary.org.