Life is Wonderful, People are Terrific – special report

And now that I’ve finished crying, I can type.

I don’t remember pre-ordering a certain book. Perhaps I did and promptly forgot. Perhaps the Book Faerie loves me more than they should Either way, I opened the door for the mail, and this gem was waiting for me:

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Missy Fuego (Gonzalez) is a queer, Chicana punk from L.A. in the 1990s. She makes to a Santa Cruz college, and finds work as a stripper in San Francisco to supplement her scholarship money. A punk legend, and at one point, her only friend,JB, offers her the use of his apartment on days/night she’s in the city. Over time, Missy begins heavily drinking to combat loneliness and insecurity. She meets other people in the scene, and slowly evolves, from Chicana punk to Riot Grrrl to Xicana feminist. She meets, befriends, and loses several people on her journey. At some point, she begins to learn that she needs to love and accept herself.

Meliza Bañales has painted a portrait with many faces. As a college student in the 1990s, I experienced several similar situations as Missy. ‘Life” will resonate with people, particularly with young, queer, women of color who came of age during the Riot Grrrl/3rd Wave Feminism of the 90s. We struggled to find places for ourselves while failing at being anything other than ourselves without knowing that that was okay. This is the kind of book I wish had been available when I was 18 and away from home for the first time. Intrigued? Good. GET YOURSELF A COPY!

(Trigger) Warnings: excessive profanity, particularly the “F-bomb” and it’s variations; alcoholism and drug use; (attempted) sexual assault; (attempted) suicide; racial violence; somewhat graphic depictions of sex

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