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About the Creator and Performer

John Paul Brammer is an author and illustrator whose food writing has appeared in Food & Wine, The Washington Post, and Kitchn. He runs the LGBTQ advice column ¡Hola Papi! which has been published at Conde Nast and Out Magazine, and currently runs on Substack. It has been adapted into a book for Simon & Schuster, to be published in 2021.

Dear Listener,

Why did I choose this format to tell my story?
"Sometimes we miss the big stories because they're hidden in the mundane and the everyday. That's what drew me to food writing. Every meal, every dish has so much to tell us about each other: where we come from, why we do the things we do, and how we connect with other people. In writing about the precious few dishes that run in my family, I'm also writing about Chicano culture, about the world as I knew it and the characters who made it colorful. Buen provecho!" – John Paul Brammer, creator and performer of Authentically Mexican

What listeners say about Authentically Mexican

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Glad I didn’t have to pay for this book!

The title of this book is a misnomer. There is no feeling of authenticity about this work at all. If you’re looking for recipes,spoiler alert, there are none. This is a book more akin to a whiney author who has an identity crisis. His sweeping generalization of who Chicanos are as a group is insulting, at best. Chicanos aren’t lost as the author asserts. We are not missing anything. Chicanismo is a socio-political identity defining a multicultural people born from the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and 70s. Brammer may be “lost” but he should not speak for others. The author reads his own book. Big mistake. His inability to speak Spanish, which is no sin, is marred by the fact that he pronounces improperly, those words of Spanish origin. It’s like running a fingernail against a blackboard: difficult to hear. The book would have been less offensive if a bilingual speaker read it. At least, pronunciation would have been less grating. Moreover, Brammer addresses the tradition of “Dia de los Muertos” but anglicized it as “Dia de Muertos.” His lack of knowledge about the rich cultural traditions of both Mexico and Chicanos in the United States reduce this work to nothing more than a one off essay on his personal sense of acculturation and how it left him thirsty. This work is not worth the listen.

23 people found this helpful

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What a Gift!!!

And so perfect on Christmas Morning. I am a 3rd Gen Latina, both parents born here, all 4 Grands in Mexico. We were was fortunate in life to live with my Grandmother while my parents saved money to buy their first home. I have many many years worth of memories that have been re-counted here, from the smell of the tortillas to the “Sana sana sana, colita de Rana”. I never thought I’d hear that in a book! My children are half Italian but still I hold to the traditions of my Grandparents... and hope that they may have some memories and knowledge of her, and their culture through my cooking, my stories , and the honoring of our traditions (and Caldo De Pollo-hah!). Thank you Audible, for giving this young man a voice, and for me my precious memories, revisited.

23 people found this helpful

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great

thank you, a perfect narration of chicano life. strong and poignant a reminder too those who feel to assimilated

11 people found this helpful

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Decent listen

This was a really surprising lesson because I was anticipating it to talk about how to make specific foods. But instead what I got was a “fake Mexican,” as the author put it, describing what his view of being authentic meant. He didn’t know the Spanish language and he didn’t grow up eating a lot of the customary Mexican foods. So the majority of his life he felt like an absolute phony. He tried for so long to find ways to authenticate himself as a Mexican but he just kept failing. What he ends up realizing is that authenticity is who you are, at the time, with what you understand about the world and how you see it. And I really like that.

8 people found this helpful

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I feel so seen

My MeXicano family is not JP’s Chicano family. Our experiences are different. Our accents are different. Our relationships to assimilation are very different— but I still feel like he could be my familia; a primo I haven’t met yet. This nourished me in a way that I didn’t even know I needed. I’ve listened to almost 200 books on audible and this is the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to write a review. Highly recommended. I’m looking forward to the memoir coming this year and hope that these essays will be included. The next time I teach Chicana/o/x Literature, his work will be on the syllabus (even if he does think that academics like me spend too much time writing/thinking about identity).

7 people found this helpful

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related on so many levels

loved this short read. it resonated with me so much being mixed myself and coming from a similar family and background. This changed my perspective on so many feelings and wanting to belong and be part of our Mexican culture. Thank you!

6 people found this helpful

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Funny, endearing and honest

JP honors his unique Chicano heritage but doesn’t shy away from the conundrums and contradictions of being a Mexican American who can’t speak Spanish, in Oklahoma! Heartwarming and funny.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful, heartfelt story

I’m glad this is the first story I heard for 2021. It’s about family, belonging and life. I relate because my wife is Hispanic, I’m half Asian and half white, and we grew up in Altus, OK, a town so small that we went to Lawton for our entertainment. My wife always tells me to write my story and I always see it as my life, and not some story that others might want to read. I think differently now. After listening to this short narrative by JB Brammer, I was drawn in. I was emotional and when I tried to tell my wife about the stories within, she could tell I was choked up and teary eyed. When I tried to explain it, I think it was because it helped me witness things she grew up with and also things I related to as an international child. I always thought of myself as a white American, but my mother was from Thailand and that gave me a skin tone that blended in with Hispanics in southern Oklahoma. But I had nothing in common with Hispanics or Asians, as I grew up in a typical white household. But this story by Brammer has shown me that everyone’s life is a story that someone can relate to. There is an audience out there willing to listen, learn and share in your experiences. I think I have this new year of 2021 to get my pen and paper out and start to put some of my life down in writing and hope to share it with the world someday. At least I plan to share it with my wife.

5 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable!

It was a enjoyable listen, funny and heartfelt. His grandparents sound a lot like all grandparents, honest and lovable.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful, entertaining, funny and thought provoking

Delightful from start to finish. Getting to know JP’s family through his humorous, authentic storytelling brought a smile to my face over and over again.

5 people found this helpful