Prof. Jessica Penner | OL05 | Fall 2020

Maria Mateo, Formal Critique on Gurba’s piece


Creative Writing

Formal Critique

Reviewer’s Name:  Maria Mateo

Title of Piece: “Pendeja, You Ain’t Steinbeck: My Bronca with Fake-Ass Social Justice Literature”

Author’s Name:  Myriam Gurba

Plot: Gurba discusses her dissatisfaction with Cummins book. This book pretends to be a portrait of the hard migrant experience to cross the boarder and is actually a book that shows stereotypes, prejudices and inaccuracies about Mexican people and their culture.

Characters: Gurba as a person who loves and defends her culture stand up for her people and criticize a book that from her perspective was lacking of relevant information and just was based on stereotypes.

Point of View: Gurba from her point of view describes Cummin as an ignorant and inexperienced person, who lacks knowledge about Mexican culture and what really defines them as people.

Question : What other books, movies or other type of writing do you think has exposed wrongly the Mexican culture ?


  1. Kiara Wright

    I agree with what you said in the point of view part because Cummin use nothing but stereotypes to write her book.

  2. Robert Rampersaud

    Good Evening Maria,
    I see how you come to the conclusion of Cummin as be ignorant and inexperienced person, but I don’t feel the same way. Cummin was sharing an experience of a mother and son which portrayed the either country of Mexico. In my opinion I don’t believe she’s ignorant and inexperienced, but she should have shined the light on some positive things about Mexico.

  3. Leviza Murtazayeva

    Hey Maria, I enjoyed that you added that Maryiam was reviewing the Cummin’s work only because she was angry and wanted to stand up for what is right. It is important for everyone to feel the freedom in the country that promotes the most freedom to everyone.

  4. Luzmery

    Hi Maria, I agree with you when you said that the book pretends to be a portrait of the hard migrant experience to cross the boarder and is actually a book that shows stereotypes, I feel like the book never highlighted something positive of Mexico nor its people and just like you I loved how Gurba stood up for them both.

  5. Angelica Hernandez

    Hi Maria, I like that you said “book pretends to be a portrait of the hard migrant experience” in your plot section I think that’s the best way to describe the book. Also I also do wonder if Gurba was critiqued any other work that offendes Mexican culture, becuase I think people should be put on blast if they do.

  6. Dylan

    Hi Maria, I also agree with Gurba’s claim that Cummins is ignorant and inexperienced. She had never identified as a Latina until she happened to take a DNA test. Using this new piece of information to somehow validate the things she writes about Mexico is an insult to people who have actually lived as Mexicans.

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