Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: HOW TO BE A CHICANA ROLE MODEL by Michele Serros

Michele Serros's work has been called "wonderfully comical and wise" (San Francisco Chronicle) and "pulsating with the exuberance of an unmistakably original poetic talent" (Entertainment Weekly). How to be a Chicana Role Model is the fiercely funny tale of a Chicana writer who's trying to find a way to embrace two very different cultures--without losing touch with who she is.

"A young, sassy writer whose brilliant weapon is her humor."--Sandra Cisneros

"Magnificent...such a voice!"--Dorothy Allison

"Michele Serros writes incredibly robust and witty prose."--Carolyn See

"One of the most distinctive and accomplished Latina voices in literature today."--Estylo

Reviewed by: Sandra
Rating: 5 stars

Review: This is a collection of fiction from a strong, witty, and intelligent chicana writer. In these rules, Michele Serros writes about being a “chicana role model” based on tales and experiences.

Rule #1: “Never Give up an Opportunity to Eat for Free” because, if you do, you never know who you might meet, like a publisher maybe.

With her cynical humor, Serros reminds you “of how detoured a career can go and what a waste a college degree could be [because] everyone knows you’re around just to separate Sweet n’ Low from sugar, take phone messages, or tape off seats in the studio audience.” (27) However, for Serros, “writing granted [her] freedom…it gave voice to all the opinions [she] was too afraid to say out loud for fear of sounding unladylike or babyish by family members, classmates, or stupid neighbor[s].” (41)

I loved this book! This was a true road map for the frustrated and relentless author. Written in a diary-entry format, Serros relives her days as a young aspiring writer from the days she sold books out of her garage to the numerous times she called regarding an honorarium for a gig—a real inspiration for many of us!

As her father used to say, “you know…all the Latinos in this country, heading political offices and creating careers with dishwater hands, but you never hear our stories, see our lives on the big screen.” (71) “Being Mexican, [we grow] up to understand that missing work is bad. Very bad. A Mexican without a strong work ethic? Come on!” (94) Serros’ book is a humorous testament to the hard-working Latinos, the largest minority in the U.S.

Rule #8: “Reclaim your Right as a Citizen of Here, Here”

I saw a lot of myself in this book. Michele’s study abroad experience reminded me of my own. Getting lost on the way to a live reading has never been unusual for me. Been there, done that, still doing it!

This book is just an open and honest account from the Mexican-American writer with the Indian-looking nose. A must read!

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