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Publisher's Summary

True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming-of-age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously.

"We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would cut off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being mean to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being mean is more exhilarating.

Being mean isn't for everybody.

Being mean is best practiced by those who understand it as an art form.

These virtuosos live closer to the divine than the rest of humanity. They're queers."

Myriam Gurba is a queer spoken-word performer, visual artist, and writer from Santa Maria, California. She's the author of Dahlia Season (2007, Manic D) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, Wish You Were Me (2011, Future Tense Books), and Painting Their Portraits in Winter (2015, Manic D). She has toured with Sister Spit, and her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. She lives in Long Beach, where she teaches social studies to eighth-graders. 

©2017 Coffee House Press (P)2017 TalkingBook

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mean & funny & tragic but mostly mean & funny.

This book was written and recited like poetry. The author has a very distinct voice and I look forward to reading more of her work.

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A heartbreaking instant classic

Myriam Gurba has a very unique way of telling a story. The narrative is strong, but the language is thick and poetic, bringing to mind Sylvia Plath. Please add more of her work to Audible!

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Absolutely Awesome

Any additional comments?

This book is funny as hell and realllllyyyy sad. Can't believe I'd never read anything by Myriam Gurba before. Great reading. Good audio quality. I sped it up to 1.25 times as the narrator reads a little slow, but awesome book.

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Cellular LOVE!

Her story deeply connected to my own. I recommend reading this book to feel a palette of emotions rarely found in a single piece of writing.

I'm in love with the vulnerability of it and am inspired to write again.

Thank you, Myrium for all you ate and all you are becoming. Enjoy these trips around the sun.

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Loved it

Myriam Gurba’s Book is so heartwarming and fucked up and dirty and fun and sad. Get this. I ended up speeding her narration to 1.25 but it was amazing.

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Brilliant!

Very engaging and darkly humorous. Absolutely loved it! Looking forward to hearing more from this author.

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Gurba Is Goddess

I love her and I love her childhood and her book. This is funny and SO DARK! Seriously. Awesome.