Chapter 62: Myriam Gurba is a bold badass with a bronca against baseless bigotry and brutality

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By Neil Pasricha and Neil Pasricha: Bestselling Author. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

3 Books is a completely insane and totally epic 15-year-long quest to uncover the 1000 most formative books in the world. Each chapter is hosted live and in-person at the guest's preferred location by Neil Pasricha, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Awesome, The Happiness Equation, Two-Minute Mornings, etc. Each chapter of 3 Books uncovers and discusses the three most formative books from one of the world's most inspiring people. Sample guests include: Judy Blume, David Sedaris, Chris Anderson of TED, the founder of the world's largest feminist magazine, the world's greatest Uber driver, Pete Holmes, Angie Thomas, and Malcolm Gladwell. Each of the 333 chapters is dropped on the exact minute of every single new moon and full moon until September 1, 2031. 3 Books is an Apple "Best Of" award-winning show and 100% ad-free, commercial-free, sponsor-free, and interruption-free. For more info check out: https://www.3books.co/

Chapter Description:

“Xicana AF. Bitch is my pronoun.” So reads the Twitter bio of Myriam Gurba, my guest, our guest, in Chapter 62.

A Mexican/American writer, storyteller, and visual artist from California, Myriam is the author of the true crime memoir Mean, which was hailed by O magazine as “one of the best LGBTQ+ books of all time.” She is also the author of Painting Their Portraits in Winter, Dahlia Season, as well as a number of chapbooks, all of which pack an audacious punch. And if her infectious written word is not enough, she’s toured with Sister Spit, a lesbian feminist spoken word and performance art collective.

She traffics in Spanglish and bold truth, the kind of which is raw and fierce.

“When I tell gringos that my Mexican grandfather worked as a publicist, the news silences them. Shocked facial expressions follow suit. Their heads look ready to explode and I can tell they’re thinking, ‘In Mexico, there are PUBLICISTS?!’ I wryly grin at these fulanos and let my smile speak on my behalf. It answers, ‘Yes, bitch, in México, there are things to publicize such as our own fucking opinions about YOU.’ - Myriam Gurba

Those words are from her viral article, Pendeja, You Ain’t Steinbeck: My Bronca with Fake-Ass Social Justice Literature, in which she takes down Jeanine Cummins’ novel American Dirt. She had been asked to review the book by Ms. Magazine, but they rejected said review on the basis that she, “lacked the fame to pen something so negative.” The controversy came to light, as well as her original critique, and the publishing world erupted. Cultural appropriation, the white gaze, racism, and the lack of diversity in the publishing industry were brought to the fore.

Unafraid and unapologetic, Myriam had no choice but to ride the wave of deliberation. Aspersion was only heightened, shortly thereafter, by her very publicized suspension from her teaching job in a local high school by an armed police escort. Her social media presence was deemed inappropriate. And yet, she was, in her words, simply defending students who were accusing teachers of abuse.

She is passionate and energetic, a big thinking firecracker who challenged my views and grew my thinking on so many levels for which I am so grateful. We had a jet-fueled conversation talking about racism, prejudice, growing up queer, police brutality, violence against women, the Mexican obsession with death, and, of course, Myriam Gurba’s 3 most formative books.

Are you ready for a gritty, vulnerable, and honest conversation with the one and only Myriam Gurba?

Let’s go!

(Trigger Warning: This conversation does veer into topics of sexual abuse and trauma.)

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why is there so much white supremacy in publishing?

  • How can we use vulnerability to draw strength?

  • What is it like growing up queer?

  • How can we become better activists?

  • Why should the police and prison system be abolished?

  • What constitutes violence against women?

  • What systems fuel misogyny and patriarchy?

  • How can we have a better body image?

  • How do we deal with genital shame?

  • What are the roots of racism?

  • Why is it so important to engage in corporeal politics?

You can find show notes and more information by clicking here: https://www.3books.co/chapters/62

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