Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World by @WoodhallPress is a BHW pick #essays
Title: Nonwhite and Woman: 131 Micro Essays on Being in the World
Edited by Darien Hsu Gee and Carla Crujido
Genre: Creative nonfiction (micro essay anthology)
Publisher: Woodhall Press
This singular collection of micro essays by established and emerging women of color writers is inspired by Lucille Clifton’s luminous poem, “won’t you celebrate with me.” Editors Darien Hsu Gee and Carla Crujido have brought together 131 true stories of 300 words or less that speak to otherness, familial relationships, impossible beauty standards, ancestral heritage, coming of age, and owning one’s place in the world.
Are You Sure That Isn’t Your Drinking Name?
Margarita means daisy, I tell them. They ask if my parents drank when I was born—if they had always been alcoholics. They ask if the nurse wrote my name by mistake after my mom ordered a drink.
They tell me that a Margarita sounds good about right now. They tell me they could drink me up. They ask me if I am salt- or sugar-rimmed. They ask if I am good in bed—they clarify that they mean the drink and not my body. They ask me if they can buy me a shot of tequila. After all, I’m not a true Margarita without tequila. They pour it down my throat before I can tell them that I’m named after my grandmother, whose body is buried in Mexico. They order another shot.
They don’t ask me if I like tequila. They begin to roll the r in my name and then they compete for the most rolled tongue. Errrrrr. They sound like bad machine guns in a telenovela, bullets breaking the night.
They ask where I am from. Phoenix. They ask really where am I from—what they really ask is where did the drink come from. I say Dallas but they laugh and tell me I am wrong. I do not tell them more. I do not tell them of my father and uncles who have never sipped a cocktail in their lives, who lived and grew up on the Gulf Coast of Mexico, who risked their lives to cross the border to give me this chance to stand here, at a bar where grown men who have only traveled as far as Rocky Point are telling me that I am wrong about a history that they never bothered to learn.
Buy Links (including Goodreads):
Woodhall Press: https://www.woodhallpress.com/product-page/nonwhite-and-woman
Darien Hsu Gee is the author of five novels that have been translated into eleven languages. Her collection of micro memoirs, Allegiance, won the 2021 IPPY bronze award in the essays category. She is the winner of a 2019 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship Award for Other Small Histories and a 2015 Hawai‘i Book Publishers’ Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award of Excellence for Writing the Hawai‘i Memoir. Darien is series editor and co-founder of the memoir writing and hybrid publishing program, Hali‘a Aloha. She lives with her family on the Island of Hawai‘i.
Carla Crujido is a hapa writer of Filipino, Mexican, Norwegian, and German descent. Her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Yellow Medicine Review, Ricepaper Magazine, Tinfish Press, The Ana, and elsewhere. Carla is a graduate of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Originally from San Francisco, she now calls Portland home.
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Woodhall Press: https://www.woodhallpress.com/