Michele Serros can say a lot in just a few words.
In the 88 pages of her 1993 book of poems and stories Chicana Falsa, she writes about cultural identity, adolescent angst and the quirks of human relationships. In one poem, she shows the consequences of gang violence in just 37 words.
Her poetry is easy to read and, even better for a challenging genre, fun to read. Her poems feature great characters that you would know in real life – the lone Chicana in the gym who “the whole time/I am thinking of/that double-cheese/Chimichanga Supreme/I’m gonna pick up/On the way home”; a worker who gets what she want, including larger cubicle space and extended lunches; and a Chicana who’s yearns to speak Spanish so “I’ll be a perfected ‘r’ rolling/tilde-using Spanish speaker/A true Mexican!”
But her stories are universal. Serros understands the neurotic tendencies of humans very well. In one story, the narrator sticks with some friends just for the free stuff she gets from them. Another story features a family that holds grudges against each other over petty incidents.
The book begins and ends with stories about Serros’ mother, who encouraged her to be a writer – even buying her a desk. Serros grew up wanting to be an author, and she finally starting writing after her mother’s death at an early age. “The purpose? To make someone happy, inspired.” Serros succeeded because reading this book will make readers feel that way.
A California native, Serros has written the books How to Be a Chicana Role Model, Honey Blonde Chica and ¡Scandalosa! A Honey Blonde Chica Novel, as well as for The George Lopez Show TV show and other publications.
Source: I won this book in a giveaway on Serros’ Facebook page for my random knowledge of Santa Barbara, Calif. Thanks, Michele!
Note: This book is part of my series of books by Latina writers that I began last year. Yes, I know I’m way behind. Next up: Alisa Valdes’ The Dirty Girls Social Club.
4 responses to “Classic book review: Michele Serros’ “Chicana Falsa””
I love hearing when an author has a support system like that. I’m only sorry her mother didn’t get to read any of her stories (well, on earth, anyway 🙂
This sounds very intriguing.
It’s a great book – easy read. I first discovered her when “How to be a Chicana Role Model” came out. I need to read her Honey Blonde books.
This one’s on my to-read list. I should probably bump it up, huh? It sounds great. 🙂
You can read it in an hour. It’ll be a fun, awesome hour.