Prof. Jessica Penner | OL05 | Fall 2020

Jozelyn Santos, Formal Critique of Gurba’s work


I love how Myriam Gurba fearlessly shared her views on how “gringos” tend to view Mexicans and try to be sympathetic towards something they think they understand. The author publishing her unpublished review of Dirt was bold and I must applaud that. It is (for a lack of a better word) silly, for her negative yet honest critique of the book to not be shared just because she is not well known in the publicist world. Being a publicist means giving honest critique whether it is good or bad and it is sad to see that in order for your fully honest opinion to be seen by the world, you must already have a successful platform. 


Sadly, there are people like Cummin who believe they have the right or fame to speak of a life or cultural that is not theirs. Yes, Cummin gave thanks to those who shared insight on like in Mexico and she most likely did some research, but let us be honest. People who think they know about the Latino/Hispanic life, are based of assumptions. Unlike others, Myriam Gurba saw between the lines and shared her honest thoughts which shows how fearless she is and how proud she is of her ethnicity, standing up for it. 

Point of View

Although Gurba has a certain career that entails pure honest, is it possible that her point of view of Cummin’s work was more personal rather than work related? Yet, her personal relation to this topic made her point of view and voice stronger and clear. 

Voice & Style

I thoroughly enjoyed the authors unfiltered voice because it showed how passionate and serious she feels about this topic. Her unfiltered voice and use of spanglish showed that she is unapologetic for her honest opinion and where she comes from. 


I would like to know what the author said to the edit who asked her to tweak her review of Dirt and make it into something more positive and pleasing and did she face problems from this editor after she released her review in this article?

I would also like to know if the author ever came in contact with Cummin after she released her view on Dirt given that the author also spoke about Cummin’s past work and shed light on the type of person she may be. 

Also, I would like to share that as a Latina myself, who comes from a Colombian and Dominican background, I found myself constantly clapping at things Gurba says and loudly saying “Yes!” while reading this piece.


  1. Angelica Salazar

    Jozelyn great critique, I agree with you in the fact that Gurba’s personal relation to the topic made her critique on American Dirt stronger as well as her use in words. Her opinion was made clearly by the many analogies she made to American Dirt. I also agree with the fact that although Cummins may have did research on the Hispanic culture and issues but she shouldn’t have wrote based on a culture she didn’t understand as well as still portraying Mexican stereotypes.

  2. Luzmery

    Hi Jozelyn, I couldn’t agree more with your Character’s explanation. I don’t think Cummins was prepared enough to talk about the Mexican culture and that is what kind of pissed Myriam off and made her express the way she did which was fearlessly, just like you said, being a publicist means giving honest critique that will not always be good or positive and that not everybody is going to like.

  3. Amna Ahmed

    Hey Jozelyn, I definitely agree with your voice and styles critique. I also love Gurba’s unfiltered way of writing. It really adds to the her quality of work and the readers experience by showing a piece of Gurba’s personality.

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