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Painting Their Portraits in Winter: Stories

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
In this artfully crafted collection of new short stories by award-winning author Myriam Gurba, nothing is as it seems on the surface. A Mexican grandmother tells creepy yet fascinating ghost stories to her granddaughters as a way to make them sit still ("How Some Abuelitas Keep Their Chicana Granddaughters Still So That They Can Paint Their Portraits in Winter"). A Polish ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Manic D Press, Inc. (first published April 7th 2015)
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Wendy Ortiz
Jul 04, 2015 Wendy Ortiz rated it it was amazing
"Imaginations are the ultimate haunted houses."
Six of five stars. I find myself thinking I wouldn't mind being trapped inside any of Myriam's stories. What she does with language is unlike anything I read. Her sentences are like passages in a labyrinth with weird surprises throughout. There is slurping and ghosts and slits and clefts and papaya innards and ladybug urine and bush and death and Chihuawhite and Mexicanity and corn dogs and a "lucky abyss." I'm in love. Go see for yourself.
Jun 27, 2016 Kevin rated it it was amazing
The delightfully wild Gurba goes in a folklorish direction here, with stories cloaked in ghost whispers and funny turns-of-phrase. These tales are deeply felt and beautifully executed. Abuelita would be proud.
Sean Doyle
Feb 16, 2016 Sean Doyle rated it it was amazing
Stories that read like whispers into the ear that are meant to make the other ear jealous.
Yvonne Flores
May 26, 2016 Yvonne Flores rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicano-studies
"Did she really just say that?!" I would read a passage, pause, and ask myself that question while I was reading How Some Abuelitas Keep Their Chicana Granddaughters Still While Painting Their Portraits in Winter. I thought it was fabulous, and I enjoyed laughing out loud and remembering that I was in the now and in the present, as the people in my presence were startled with my outbursts of "Hah!" or "Did I just read that right?" The book had me captured with each short story and I can't wait ...more
May 30, 2015 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I love Myriam Gurba's mind. There were so many turns of phrase that caught my breath in these delightfully lyrical, irreverent, puckish stories. A pornographic poster of a naked woman is "Georgia O'Keefing you." Raindrops on a roof are "dull bullets from a failing revolution." Praise to her for the fantastic story title, "The time I rewrote the first two pages of The Bell Jar from a melodramatic Chicana perspective and named it The Taco Bell Jar." Her metaphors are so observant, evocative ...more
Sep 09, 2015 MariNaomi rated it it was amazing
Myriam Gurba has the most unique writing voice of any published author today. Myriam Gurba has a wit like molasses; it will wrap itself around you and you'll be laughing so hard you won't notice it's also suffocating you (gently). Myriam Gurba is a better writer than you. This book is brilliant. It's a giant slab of flourless chocolate cake. It will fill your head with confusing ideas. This is such a good book. Fuck.
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Dec 05, 2015
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Mar 25, 2016 Kookie rated it it was ok
Other than the first story and a few isolated moments in others this was disappointing.
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Sep 19, 2015
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Hi, my name is Myriam and my hobbies include misinforming children and art. I wrote Dahlia Season (Manic D), Wish You Were Me (Future Tense), menudo & Herb (self-published), and A White Girl Named Shaquanda (self-published). I blog at lesbrain and at You can contact me if you plan on sending me money.
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