Junot Diaz’s Miss Lora is a story centering on a cross-generation relationship between Yunior and Miss Lora. The story is first published in The New Yorker in 2012, which is relatively new than most stories we have read in this course before. Compared to Endgame and other stories that we have read earlier in this course, Miss Lora is certainly easier to read and to grasp Junot Diaz’s idea. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s shallow. There are several aspects I’d like to emphasize.
First, Miss Lora is written in a second person’s point-of-view as it uses “you” to represent the main character – Yunior. Reading a story in the second person’s perspective is a refreshing experience for me, though it did confuse me a little bit at the beginning. Apart from the narrator’s special perspective, Junot Diaz’s casual writing style also enhances readers’ immersive experience, especially if you are familiar with Spanish. The way that Junot Diaz combines Spanish and English makes the story’s dialogues very similar to the common daily conversations. For example, there is a specific scene impresses me most when Yunior’s mother wants Yunior to say hello to Miss Lora. “Your mother flares. Who in carajo do you think you’re talking to? Say hello, coño, to la profesora.” It is also why I write the title in Spanish. This writing style creates intimacy between the readers and the character. Such intimacy help readers to engage in the story and fully experience the emotions of the character. Once I have access to Yunior’s inside world, I start to realize the connection among all the settings, which leads to the second aspect.
Another aspect that I want to share about Miss Lora is the background settings. Although Miss Lora has a major storyline about the relationship between Yunior and Miss Lora, each character in this story is vividly depicted. All of their current emotions, actions, and attitudes are supported by their backgrounds. Yunior loves sci-fi and apocalypse stories because his own life is breaking up like it’s undergoing an apocalypse. Yunior was attracted by Miss Lora not because she can fulfill his desire but also because she was the only hope he had during that depressing period of Yunior’s life. On the other hand, the story also introduced Miss Lora’s earlier experience, from which I found several similarities with Yunior’s experience. In this case, the background supplement not only provides readers with more information about Miss Lora but also tightens the bond between Yunior and Miss Lora. Even Yunior’s ex-girlfriend – Paloma has her background story. Paloma refuses to hear more about Yunior’s depressing speech and reject Yunior’s request not because she’s a traditional girl or she’s mean, but because she has her own troubles – her entire family is counting on her. That’s the reason why Paloma keeps saying no to Yunior and breaks up with him after going to college. It seems that Miss Lora is a straightforward story; however, if you want to dig deeper, you can find the thread left by Junot Diaz, which enables you to get closer to the kernel of the story.
I certainly not want to spoil too much in this recommendation. More threads are waiting for you to discover in Miss Lora. Hope you enjoy reading this piece of work.