Mean

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 Myriam Gurba's debut is the bold and hilarious tale of her coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radic...

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Title:Mean
Author:Myriam Gurba
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:1566894913
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:160 pages pages

Mean Reviews

  • christa
    Jan 21, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

  • Kevin
    Feb 11, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

  • Ruth
    Jul 15, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

    This book is fierce. Queer, funny, mean, loving. Fierce. The look at sexual trauma and how we as writers narrate trauma is a master class in preserving the self while describing the event. Gurba is able to have a reader laughing about the most traumatic of events, which is a kind of mo...

    So good. Funny, tragic, horrifying, beautiful. The author's wry narration style makes the entire book a joy to read, even the ugly parts. ...

    Soooo tough & mean & snarky but also soooo honest & vulnerable & confused. It's hard not to like that mix. ...

  • Lisa
    Apr 05, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

  • M.
    Dec 02, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

  • Terry
    Jun 21, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

  • Lisa Eirene
    Jan 09, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

  • Stefanie
    Jul 18, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

  • Sylvia
    Mar 27, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

  • kelly
    Aug 27, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

  • TaraShea Nesbit
    Jan 10, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

    This book is fierce. Queer, funny, mean, loving. Fierce. The look at sexual trauma and how we as writers narrate trauma is a master class in preserving the self while describing the event. Gurba is able to have a reader laughing about the most traumatic of events, which is a kind of mo...

  • MariNaomi
    Oct 23, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

  • Joseph
    Mar 12, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

  • Miriam
    Jan 12, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

  • Will
    Feb 17, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

  • Macartney
    Nov 28, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

  • Joanna
    Apr 07, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

    This book is fierce. Queer, funny, mean, loving. Fierce. The look at sexual trauma and how we as writers narrate trauma is a master class in preserving the self while describing the event. Gurba is able to have a reader laughing about the most traumatic of events, which is a kind of mo...

    So good. Funny, tragic, horrifying, beautiful. The author's wry narration style makes the entire book a joy to read, even the ugly parts. ...

    Soooo tough & mean & snarky but also soooo honest & vulnerable & confused. It's hard not to like that mix. ...

    SUPERB ...

  • Chloe
    Jun 28, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

    This book is fierce. Queer, funny, mean, loving. Fierce. The look at sexual trauma and how we as writers narrate trauma is a master class in preserving the self while describing the event. Gurba is able to have a reader laughing about the most traumatic of events, which is a kind of mo...

    So good. Funny, tragic, horrifying, beautiful. The author's wry narration style makes the entire book a joy to read, even the ugly parts. ...

  • Li Sian
    Jun 09, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

  • Sara
    Dec 26, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

  • Andrea Quinlan
    Jan 03, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

    This book is fierce. Queer, funny, mean, loving. Fierce. The look at sexual trauma and how we as writers narrate trauma is a master class in preserving the self while describing the event. Gurba is able to have a reader laughing about the most traumatic of events, which is a kind of mo...

    So good. Funny, tragic, horrifying, beautiful. The author's wry narration style makes the entire book a joy to read, even the ugly parts. ...

    Soooo tough & mean & snarky but also soooo honest & vulnerable & confused. It's hard not to like that mix. ...

    SUPERB ...

    This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Phenomenal! You'll love and devour this and want to read it again in quick succession. ...

  • Kate Olson
    Nov 14, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

  • Verity Sturm
    Aug 02, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

  • Elise Karlsson
    Nov 19, 2017

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

  • Ellis
    Jul 09, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

  • Hannah
    Feb 09, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

  • Miranda Hency
    Jan 31, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

    Myriam Gurba?s memoir ?Mean? opens with the chase-torture-rape-death of Sophia Torres, a young woman described by some media as ?transient.? Gurba and Torres are linked by more than a shared culture: Torres was raped by the same man, but lived to experience the PTSD. In bet...

    Myriam Gurba's funky lil' memoir packs a wallop. With a format almost reminiscent of Maggie Nelson's Argonauts, Gurba embarks in telling the story of her childhood as a woman of color in inland California. In stark, honest, hilarious, and frequently dark bursts Gurba reconciles with ch...

    For some reason I thought this was a novel and was twenty pages in before I noticed the cover said it was a memoir. Gurba tells a harsh story, she has good reason to be mean. She is sharp and witty and her sarcastic humor is fantastic: By eighth grade, being called a ho was water of...

    I can see why Michelle Tea (of whom I'm a fan) is a fan of Gurba--and if you like Michelle Tea (which I do!), then you'll definitely love Gurba's writing. I loved this book (I'm not sure if I'd call it a memoir or a collection)--Gurba has an exceedingly dry but both clever and caustic ...

    I wasn't expecting to like 'Mean' as much as I did? Lots of the reviews of 'Mean' centered on meanness as a response to structural injustice; meanness (implied) as feminist praxis. Which I've definitely come to be skeptical of over the years. BUT 'Mean' is about way more than justifyin...

    I absolutely loved this book. This is an edgy lyrical memoir in which Gurba unfolds what it is to grow up as a Molack (mexican and polack) and become a queer feminist artist who is chased by ghosts (public and personal) (nice and mean). Written in short vignettes this is as much a comi...

    This book was poetic and surprising, and showcased truly mean things--the trauma of rape and the guilt of surviving when others don't. I liked the timeline of the book, its short chapters, and Myriam Gurba's voice. This is a book of growth and survival and violence and strength. ...

  • Erik Caswell
    Apr 02, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

    What a great memoir?it's all voice, but it's an incredibly strong and engaging voice, honest and brutal and super funny. /there were so many good moments of recognition about the ways the exterior world knocks up against the world in your head if you're a particular sort of smart, re...

    Can I give this six stars? I want to. Nah, I need to - just a few pages in, I knew I'd found my queer intersectional feminist manifesto. Mean is whip-smart, hard-hitting, wildly fun. and totally punk. Thanks for being a fucking rock star, Myriam. I would write a proper review, but a...

    This is a doozy of a book. It's a non-linear narrative, opening with a violent account of a woman being raped and murdered in a park. Gurba then switches to a host of different topics that are seemingly unrelated to the first but yet still interesting: growing up as a mixed race Chican...

    Gurba opens her memoir (?) with a horrific vignette of a woman being beaten to death and raped. This is her jumping off point to prove to us that her meanness is borne of political need as a woman of color. And, okay, some of my feelings about all this are clearly my own thing--I'm sen...

    I'm unsure of how I feel about this book. First, I liked the writing style. It was poetic and stream of consciousness-esque, there was some really powerful and beautiful writing in there. Second, I think the memoir takes on a lot of important topics--racism, culture, sexual assau...

    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 h...

    I could gush over this book forever. an instant favorite. I love the short sections, the meandering musings, the super sharp and irreverent insights and observations into whiteness and patriarchy heteronormativity and rape culture and how all these things weave into one another. the po...

  • Sofia
    Jun 24, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...

    "German Jewish toker, hiker and intellectual Walter Benjamin wrote an essay titled 'Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting.' In it, he describes his musty zeal, intoning that 'every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories...

    Review on my website! ...

    3.5 stars. a bit too brutal for me, and not what i had expected, but the subject matter matters to me. book is about about sexual assault, rape, problems the author faced as a young mexican lesbian, and more. extremely lyrical prose and themed chapters made this an unconventional au...

    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 mea...

    3.5 stars Such mixed feelings. The writing?s gorgeous in places; she tackles important themes such as sexual violence, race, identity, eating disorders. This book is going to haunt me for a while. At the same time, Gurba comes across as arrogant and nasty towards other women. ...

  • Mel
    Feb 04, 2018

    This was absolutely stunning. The only reason this was not quite a five star read for me was because it took me about 60 pages to find my rhythm with this book (and the book is not particularly long). But once I did, it was beyond incredible. Myriam Gurba has a way of structuring her t...

    Hilarious and brutal. This is a must-read. I mean, damn! ...

    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 h...

    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 wo...

    A wild, sometimes messy sandwich of a book. Almost like if Kathy Acker tried to write a true crime book. The beginning and end focus intensely on rape and trauma and the middle is more of a scattershot memoir with a lot of weird comedic relief weaved in. Only Myriam could get away with...

    I don?t think I?ve ever been so uncomfortable, enraged, and yet so enthused and sometimes giggly at a memoir as dark as this one. Written in an often poetic style in fits and bursts of brutality and nostalgia? this book is going to make you FEEL. Gurba?s journey is a little too...