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175 pages, Paperback
First published November 7, 2017
"The white mom’s face exuded Puritanism. Margarine. Thrift. The absence of fun."She also pokes at the patriarchy:
"He talked. He was a talker. I sized him up as I let him prattle. Men like it if you let them talk. It makes them feel like teachers. That’s all many men really want. To be womankind’s teacher."What is most interesting is the lens in which Gurba allows us to view her life. The things that pass as ordinary or casual through the storytelling, for me were absolutely not . Yet, I don't consider my life to be a baseline for ordinary so YMMV. After a while, elements of one's culture start to dictate how we view ourselves.
"Their stories are fed to Catholic girls as exemplars of good girlhood. Good girlishness resists gluttony. Good girlishness resists pleasure. Good girls prove their virtue by getting rid of themselves."There were many surreal elements and sometimes it was hard to discern what was in her mind versus what was happening. Like a coping mechanism in the mind of a young teen.
"Guilt is a ghost. Guilt is a ghost. Guilt is a ghost."I believe that to be by design which is one of the elements that makes this story so remarkable. I think Gurba's story is a perspective that should be heard. It is one that resonates. Trigger warnings: *Note: I don't want to give the impression that this book was all about traumatic events. It is not. It was some very clever commentary on ethnicity and culture in America. It was also fascinating, a little offbeat (in a good way), speckled with humor and engaging. That speaks to the artistry. Gurba has skillz and leaves a mark!!