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How to Be a Chicana Role Model Paperback – July 1, 2000


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Paperback, July 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; 1st edition (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573228249
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573228244
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The wisecracking, bicultural/bilingual, self-deprecating, post-Valley Girl author of Chicana Falsa once again serves up a slice of her own life, this time focusing on the lessons she has learned about being a writer and de facto role model. Chronicling the experiences and responsibilities of semisuccessful Chicana poet and writer "Michele Serros," the book is divided into a series of The House on Mango Street-style vignettes, each titled with a numbered "role model rule," like "Seek Support from Sistas" and "Honor Thy Late-Night Phone Calls from Abuelita." Sandwiched between these stories are thematic riffsAan ongoing debate with a conference organizer over an honorarium that was never paid, or correspondence with teacher fans who want to correct the fictional Serros's English or her Spanish. "Let's Go Mexico," one of the longer stories, is a humorous take on immersion language classes set in a tourist town outside of Mexico City. For all of Serros's witAand she can be absolutely hilariousAthere is a darker side to her humor. The fictional Serros moves from menial job to menial job. She recognizes that like her father (a "brown ghost" to his Anglo co-workers), she is too often either invisible or assumed to be a maid, and that Latinos can be as prejudiced as whites. She takes several swipes at academics and critics who assume that one Latina writer is much like another. She comes down especially hard on anyone who doubts her talent: "To my family, writing was not important. Writing was somewhat selfish. Writing was just plain rude." Though this outing lacks some of the fizz of Chicana Falsa, Serros turns out a funny yet poignant defense of her craft. 4-city author tour. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Serros (Chicana Falsa, not reviewed) offers an unusual second fiction, a work that defies single classification. The story of Michele Serros, it's a sly, hyperkinetic romp that's part story collection, part stand-up comedy, part self-help for aspiring writers.Instead of chapters, Serros supplies the reader with 13 rules that could have come under the heading I Didn't Know It Would Be This Way. Serros's road to UCLA and publication is pockmarked with misconceptions, some hilarious, others sad. Asked to attend a Chicana writers' conference, she arrives to discover that she's been hired to serve food, not read her poetry. But this energetic young woman doesn't let the croissants or an apron stop her from reading at open mike, after which a small-press publisher offers his card, prints her book, then leaves her with boxes of copies to hawk on her own. No matter what she does, Serros is alternately confused and amused by the contradictions around her. She's hired to model for an artist because of her Mexican nose, the one feature she dislikes most in herself. Fellow Latinos and Latinas frown upon her for not speaking Spanish well, yet she receives instructions from a fan urging her to be more universal by dropping the Spanish from her work. Even her friend Martha Reyes tells her to make yourself less Mexican, less girl in trying to insure Serros a reading public. The best rule, however, comes from Aunt Tura: If you want a real story, you need to look in your own backyard more often. Indeed, only when Serros creates vivid family scenes are we drawn effortlessly into a world she cares about. Once her defensive guard is down, her gift for dialogue emerges, along with that rare ability to move readers toward complexity of emotion and thought--the things that make this not quite accomplished yet exciting new fiction distinctive.An interesting--and maybe even a promising--start -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

This book hits a lot of points, and is very easy to relate to.
MARIAJULIA URIAS
How to Be A Chicana Role Model is a collection of short stories of Michele Serrio's struggle to find success and to identify herself as a Chicana writer.
"tiger_alpha"
Published chicana writing that is as poor as this lowers the standard for all chicana literature.
Yolanda Lopez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "berenjena" on July 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I read Chicana falsa, I loved Michelle Serros's sense of humor, and her ability to make the best of a negative situation, and her collection of advice on How to be A Chicana Roll model was not a dissapointment. I looked forward to this novel and I am sad that it has ended. Thank you Michelle for making light of a serious issue, showing not weakness but a lot of strenght. Look forward to your next one.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Padilla on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
"How to be a Chicana Role Model" was really an inspiration to read, considering I personally had trouble thinking that others could view chicanos and role models in a single sentence. Being a chicana myself, I started thinking like what others viewed me as and became insecure. I had trouble identifying as american because i don't look caucasian and I couldn't be seen as mexican by my own people, because i don't tend to fit the stereotype. I felt like "Ni de aqui, ni de alla". I appreciate how Michele Serros addresses that issue in both her books and how she really wants the world to know that she is proud of what she is. I know that makes me as a latina,proud right along with her. As a college student here at UC Berkeley I totally recommend this book to EVERYONE! If you aren't chicano, so what? At least you will experience through michele what being chicano is all about. she brings her story to life! By the way, Thank you cris for recommending this book to me!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
I just put the book down, I can't wait to read Chicana Falsa. The best thing about the book is that it dealt with the life of a young and struggling Chicana with humor. For the non-Chicanas, it is a great glimpse into our world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Lopez-Miechels on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was cleaver, hysterical and insightful. After reading some of the reviews I thought it was gonna be subpar, but, I found it to be an excellent easy read. With some very interesting metaphors and ironies. I really liked the chapter about living in mexico with white girls ("white socks"). I thought that was fantastic. I can really relate to many of the experiences in this book. I highly recommend this book, don't let the reviews scare you off. it's easy to be an critic these days.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Mendoza on May 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I purposely went to the bookstore looking for a book written by a Chicana/Latina that I could relate to. I am not an immigrant, although my parents are. I did not grow up in the barrio. As a matter of fact I was known as the "coconut" in high school. This was a series of stories about a young woman trying to do her thing and she happens to be Chicana. It is not her entire identity. Finally, a book I can relate to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Cabral on July 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm always searching for new "reads" and something that is stimulating from up and comming Latino/a writers. After finding Serros recent book, I could not put it down. She writes clearly and is very imaginative. It is also great to see her Oxnard/el Rio hometown upbringing through out the book - being from Oxnard myself I could definetly relate! This book is also a great and important read not only for Latinas but Latinos as well. If there is one comment that I would make is that Michele needs to start expanding her content - with her creativity I would like to see her writing talent in the fiction arena.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Linda Rose on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading Serros' "How to Be a Chicana Role Model" and I loved it. As corny as it may sound, I found myself smiling, crying, and then smiling again while reading one page of her book. I am able to relate to so many of her comments about her birthplace, as I too am originally from Oxnard. I also feel a sort of embarassing kinship to her since she is/was a Latina w/out the working knowledge of the Spanish language as am I. Now living in Northern California all I have to do is pick up either of her books and feel right at home as she quips about her junior high or snobby girls at Camarillo high school. I can't wait to read more of her stuff!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "tiger_alpha" on June 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
How to Be A Chicana Role Model is a collection of short stories of Michele Serrio's struggle to find success and to identify herself as a Chicana writer. Many of the stories illustrate many of the obstacles Michele had to face from her childhood to her struggle as a writer trying to sell her books. Some of the stories seem to far fetch such as Michele encounter with Jennifer Lopez while working as a paige for the television show, In Living Color. Also the stories have a way of ending nicely which give the reader the impression that some embellishment on the details was made. The book does classify itself as fiction as seen on the cover. There is no notice that states that the events that occur are real, based on true life, or just made up.

Whether or not these stories may have happened should not detract anyone from the stories. These stories present a person's journey through life, overcoming obstacles and learning from mistakes. One example of a struggle is Michele's perception of beauty when she was young. She was made fun of having an "Indian" nose by her best friend. Being conscious of her nose, Michele wanted to look more American. For her school picture, she squeezed her nose so that it would be narrow like an American. Later on in the book, Michele is able to appreciate her nose and her own beauty by presenting herself as an art display. Stories like these truly reflect issues that Mexican Americans face today. Michele encounters many stereotypes because of her skin and she little connection to her ethnic heritage.
Michele also writes about her struggles as a Chicana writer. From writing her own poems, to finding a willing publisher, and to sell her books on her own, we can see the development of Michele's identity as a Chicana writer. Michele writes with sharp wit and doesn't hold back on what she thinks. I recommend this book because of the wit, the humorous stories, and that once you start reading, you won't be able to put it down till the end.
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