Mean by Myriam Gurba

Mean

Myriam Gurba's debut is the bold and hilarious tale of her coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Mean turns what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, funny, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.We act mean to defend ou...

Title:Mean
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Mean Reviews

  • M.
    I reviewed this recently for 4Columns -- here's an excerpt: "“Being mean makes us feel alive,” Myriam Gurba writes in her new book, the memoir Mean. “It’s fun and exciting. Sometimes, it keeps us alive.” Rooted in her experience growing up a queer mixed-race Chicana in a wor...
  • Genevieve
    A wry, searing book about growing up as a queer brown girl in California in the 80s and 90s -- and about sexual assault. If you loved Speak when you were 14, and now you're 30 and have some idea of how much more cruel the world can be, read this. It's very funny and very dark and very smart and very...
  • Verity Sturm
    Myriam Gurba’s Mean is a powerful, creative, uproariously candid memoir of a woman between a slew of extremes. Set in the heat of California and adolescence, Mean bluntly unveils the racism, sexual violence, and homophobia braided into a queer Chicana’s coming of age–flavors of hatred...
  • MariNaomi
    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn!...
  • Jenny Shank
    Dallas Morning News, November 1, 2017"Art is one way to work out touch gone wrong," Myriam Gurba writes in her invigorating memoir Mean, which in part addresses the harrowing story of her assault at age 19, and her rumination about the other woman the attacker went on to rape and kill before he was ...
  • Kate Olson
    This book blew. me. away. One minute I was cringing away from the graphic descriptions of sexual assault and the next I was chuckling at the brilliant word play Gurba throws down. This is one of those books that make me feel like I'm not quite cool or smart enough ~ it humbled me and had my brain wh...
  • Nina
    Not only is this a visceral and honest and take on life after assault as a mixed woman of Mexican and Polish descent, this is also a project of power reclamation. As she reclaims her body and takes on the reigns of her sexual power, the author also takes control of the readers: how we see her, how w...
  • Judith Taveras
    Amazing! Thought provoking, provocative, semi-autobiography. I really appreciated how she addressed sexual assault in this book. For women, one of the main challenges of talking about sexual assault/harassment, is trying to get men to understand how constant it is in our lives. How through social co...
  • Macartney
    Gurba tells us, the readers, over and over how mean she is (ie, unkind and characterized by malice). The book shows her to be anything but. Instead, she's a mean writer (ie, excellent and effective) who has written a mean novel (ie, vexatious; causing trouble or bother) whose words mean (ie, to sign...

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