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A Most Improbable Life

Author: Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs
Genre: Poetry
Reviewed by Rachel Fischer Gladson

564Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs is a multi-lingual Chicana poet, essayist and author who teaches at Seattle University. Her collection of poems explores issues unique to her life. Recurring themes in this book include ethnic identity, family relationships and affairs of the heart. Mostly in English, with some French and Spanish, the poems vary in tone and subject matter. "A Most Improbable Life" and "My son thinks we are cows" offer a glimpse into the world of the Latina, her view of low parental expectations and of the Chicano farm worker's life. "The 12th Commandment by a Mexican Woman" infuses humor into the otherwise serious book: "When people see me, / they always think of food.../ I say, / ‘Please don't eat me I am not a taco.'"

As many poems deal with the life of an educated immigrant, this book has special appeal to ethnic and international audiences. Muhs provides an unconventional view of America from the inside out. Although the tone of the collection is uneven, some images linger in the memory like a fine wine.


June 13, 2004 in Poetry | Permalink


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