LITERATURE

Mean

Coffee House. 2017. 160p. ISBN 9781566894913. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781566895019. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarGurba's writing makes you want to know the author better. Her voice is irreverent, lyrical, and sharply observant, even as her book offers dark commentary on what it means to be a woman in American society. Here, she addresses traumatic experiences, including sexual violence that men forced upon her and against other women, disordered eating, and the cultural norms of women's beauty. Gurba's work also explores issues of race and sexuality; the author is mixed race and queer, and her narrative packs a lot into a few pages. If you believe that women, and all people, have the right to safety in public and domestic spaces, the right to control their bodies and express their gender identity and sexuality, and that prejudices of all kinds continue to impact and restrict the promise and potential of many in this country, then this is a book you'll want to read.
VERDICT Gurba is a writer for our times; her memoir brings a powerful perspective. (Memoir, 10/20/17)

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