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Güera
Rebecca Gaydos




Omnidawn
2016 • 88 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - Hispanic American / Poetry - Women Authors

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-63243-024-3



Güera by Rebecca Gaydos traces the way touristic desire, folklore, and stereotype transform the languages we speak and the bodies we inhabit. Invoking a Mexican... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

A debut meditation on the body across national and linguistic borders

Invoking a Mexican slang term that translates roughly as “white girl,” Güera considers how the body’s meaning as a racialized, gendered, and sexualized surface shifts as it crosses linguistic and national borders. Gaydos’s disarmingly direct addresses slip between the spaces of story and reality, traversing the many meanings of “appearance”: not only the physical image and its attendant assumptions, but also the act of arriving or becoming visible. Moving between Los Angeles, Oaxaca, Mexico City, and Talcott, Virginia, Güera traces the way touristic desire, folklore, and stereotype transform the languages we speak and the bodies we inhabit.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"Güera by Rebecca Gaydos traces the way touristic desire, folklore, and stereotype transform the languages we speak and the bodies we inhabit. Invoking a Mexican slang term that translates roughly as “white girl,” Gaydos considers how the body’s meaning as a racialized, gendered, and sexualized surface shifts as it crosses borders."—Publishers Weekly

“Gaydos sifts through language, history, and landscape to address identity in her debut collection. The title comes from a colloquial Mexican term that roughly means white girl, and Gaydos confronts racism without soapboxing in these dense lyric poems. She also focuses on the mutability of subjectivity, displaying a wry mistrust of herself: “I can’t tell what it stands for because I didn’t already know and I’m no good at looking at things.” Her poems maintain a vigorous swagger, and she’s attentive to off-notes and implicit disjunctures. Part of what makes the book work is that Gaydos neither privileges her own perspective nor makes the poems explicitly autobiographical.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Rebecca Gaydos is no maker of sweet images. Instead, this amazing and fearless book takes on production itself. Gaydos pursues not incidents but the shape of incidents butting up against one another to produce the dubious and mercantile cultures of our world—that is, she makes her readers aware of the “the facts after the facts.” But Güera also acknowledges (and discerningly celebrates!) strip poker, miscegenation, tattoos, and love. The book is a book of telling inquiry. Güera—“comparative, adjectival, always interpolating”—is uncomfortable work in the very best senses.”—C. S. Giscombe

From the Book:

My mother told me I should try to do some artwork so that I could get my own money. When my husband told me to go to my mother to get a dollar to go to the movies, she told me, You know how to draw, so do some artwork

autonomy’s a long, long joke
imagine the Arctic and the cliché itself becomes intangible, snow-globish

the cliché itself came one day, it looked into the image of my image
it doubted my mobile ways

it whispered dirty things in my ear about Hostelling International
then it unwhispered those same things

art being the thing among things that is not itself a thing

I want to say to her,
you’re always open

about art because you made it
tourist from the get-go

in a dream the emphasis is on
open
‘she’s open’
has no ring to it,
no unsavory flavor,
no quickening of the heart

then outside of the dream
there’s the usual chorus,

all the little sculptures will go down south
all the big sculptures will get filmed



REBECCA GAYDOS was born in Santa Barbara, California. At U. C. Berkeley, she won the Eisner Prize in Poetry and earned her PhD in English. She has taught literature and writing at Diablo Valley College, San Quentin State Prison, and U. C. Berkeley. In addition to writing poetry, she is editing an unpublished novella by poet Larry Eigner and completing a scholarly book on the significance of technoscientific thought in post-World War II American poetry.



Sat, 30 Sep 2017 15:38:58 -0500