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Funeral for Flaca

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Funeral for Flaca is an exploration of things lost and found—love, identity, family—and the traumas that transcend bodies, borders, cultures, and generations. Emilly Prado retraces her experience coming of age as a prep-turned-chola-turned-punk in this collection that is one-part memoir-in-essays, and one-part playlist, zigzagging across genres and decades, much like the ra Funeral for Flaca is an exploration of things lost and found—love, identity, family—and the traumas that transcend bodies, borders, cultures, and generations. Emilly Prado retraces her experience coming of age as a prep-turned-chola-turned-punk in this collection that is one-part memoir-in-essays, and one-part playlist, zigzagging across genres and decades, much like the rapidly changing and varied tastes of her youth. Emilly spends the late 90’s and early aughts looking for acceptance as a young Chicana growing up in the mostly-white suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2008. Ni de aquí, ni de allá, she tries to find her place in the in between. Growing up, the boys reject her, her father cheats on her mother, then the boys cheat on her and she cheats on them. At 21-years-old, Emilly checks herself into a psychiatric ward after a mental breakdown. One year later, she becomes a survivor of sexual assault. A few years after that, she survives another attempted assault. She searches for the antidote that will cure her, cycling through love, heartbreak, sex, an eating disorder, alcohol, an ever-evolving style, and, of course, music. She captures the painful reality of what it means to lose and find your identity, many times over again. For anyone who has ever lost their way as a child or as an adult, Funeral for Flaca unravels the complex layers of an unpredictable life, inviting us into an intimate and honest journey profoundly told with humor and heart by Emilly Prado.


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Funeral for Flaca is an exploration of things lost and found—love, identity, family—and the traumas that transcend bodies, borders, cultures, and generations. Emilly Prado retraces her experience coming of age as a prep-turned-chola-turned-punk in this collection that is one-part memoir-in-essays, and one-part playlist, zigzagging across genres and decades, much like the ra Funeral for Flaca is an exploration of things lost and found—love, identity, family—and the traumas that transcend bodies, borders, cultures, and generations. Emilly Prado retraces her experience coming of age as a prep-turned-chola-turned-punk in this collection that is one-part memoir-in-essays, and one-part playlist, zigzagging across genres and decades, much like the rapidly changing and varied tastes of her youth. Emilly spends the late 90’s and early aughts looking for acceptance as a young Chicana growing up in the mostly-white suburbs of the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Portland, Oregon in 2008. Ni de aquí, ni de allá, she tries to find her place in the in between. Growing up, the boys reject her, her father cheats on her mother, then the boys cheat on her and she cheats on them. At 21-years-old, Emilly checks herself into a psychiatric ward after a mental breakdown. One year later, she becomes a survivor of sexual assault. A few years after that, she survives another attempted assault. She searches for the antidote that will cure her, cycling through love, heartbreak, sex, an eating disorder, alcohol, an ever-evolving style, and, of course, music. She captures the painful reality of what it means to lose and find your identity, many times over again. For anyone who has ever lost their way as a child or as an adult, Funeral for Flaca unravels the complex layers of an unpredictable life, inviting us into an intimate and honest journey profoundly told with humor and heart by Emilly Prado.

30 review for Funeral for Flaca

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    This is a book that is so many things at once–a heartbreaking coming of age, a search for self-identity, a comic time capsule of youth, a fiery dedication to family and friends, a scream for justice, and a love letter to musical roots. I'm biased of course, because I published the book, but I knew Emilly had a special way with her thoughts and words when I read this book in its early zine-ish format. Working on the book has helped me grow as an editor and reader. My favorite essays are Say You'll This is a book that is so many things at once–a heartbreaking coming of age, a search for self-identity, a comic time capsule of youth, a fiery dedication to family and friends, a scream for justice, and a love letter to musical roots. I'm biased of course, because I published the book, but I knew Emilly had a special way with her thoughts and words when I read this book in its early zine-ish format. Working on the book has helped me grow as an editor and reader. My favorite essays are Say You'll Be There (about a crushing show-and-tell moment), Keep Ya Head Up (about her various young fashion phases), So Rich, So Pretty (on eating disorders & bad grades), You Will Always Bring Me Flowers (bipolar disorder), Not Ready to Make Nice (on rape and male aggression), In Dreams (facing near death), and It's My Brown Skin (her ancestry.com story). But I wanted to mention a chapter that, on my first editorial read-through, I suggested cutting out. It's the 4th essay: Super Nova Girl. It's a simple two-pager that describes a Friday night at home (her older sister out at a football game), enjoying the television all to herself, eating her favorite fast food while her mom folds laundry in the kitchen. It's a snapshot that seems almost frozen in sepia tone, with Emilly's descriptions unfussy and nearly meditative. It seems as if nothing really happens, and even ends with the sentence: I am happy. Now that the book is done though, I can see how this small moment–this mood–is a welcome moment of peace in a life where peace was never too easy. For those pages (43 and 44), there is an innocence that is serene and peaceful. In a strange way, the scene is a lasting beacon throughout the book–a moment that many would take for granted. Emilly's writing is often sly like that. It pulls you in when you're not expecting it. It's showing you something real and true. It holds your hand like a loving friend, and sometimes squeezes to make sure you know she's there. What a gift.

  2. 4 out of 5

    S.G. Huerta

    Definitely a contender for my favorite book of 2021. Here is my full review, published in Porter House Review: https://porterhousereview.org/article... Definitely a contender for my favorite book of 2021. Here is my full review, published in Porter House Review: https://porterhousereview.org/article...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lau

    While I love reading a variety of books, I specially love those that narrate the deeply personal and leave me with a deeper understanding of the human experience. This book does that for me in a way just a few have throughout my life, I felt seen and understood, I felt comforted and confronted. I devoured it in a day, knowing I’ll yearn to return for many years to come.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    A really thoughtful and transporting book from one of my favorite small presses. I’m holding on to this to gift to just the right teen someday!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dora

    Highly recommend for high school (and up) teachers in need of memoirs and essays. Emilly’s essays take us through her life’s traumas, transformations, humor and honesty in growing up Chicana.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Tender and tough, these intimate essays trace Prado's life and some of the key experiences that have shaped her — from her parents' splitting up at a young age to trying on different identities in high school to nearly losing an ex-turned-close friend. So many of these essays explore embodiment in a heartfelt and nuanced way, both a sense of discomfort and finding peace despite this. One of the things I admired most about this collection is that there is rarely a neat and simple resolution. In o Tender and tough, these intimate essays trace Prado's life and some of the key experiences that have shaped her — from her parents' splitting up at a young age to trying on different identities in high school to nearly losing an ex-turned-close friend. So many of these essays explore embodiment in a heartfelt and nuanced way, both a sense of discomfort and finding peace despite this. One of the things I admired most about this collection is that there is rarely a neat and simple resolution. In one essay, Prado writes about shedding the nickname of Flaca — "What is the name for a grief that creeps in after losing something, mixed with back-dated guilt from the shame of not really noticing? What is the nickname for a person who no longer embodies their name? The name for a person who has become unrecognizably them?"

  7. 5 out of 5

    Isabeau Walker

    It's a tough task to tell childhood stories in an honest way. What I mean is that we often reinterpret encounters and experiences through an adult brain filter and when we do that we lose the most relatable threads from those earlier years. Emilly Prado's mixtape memoirs found and stitched that thread. I felt seen in her choice of friends, inner dialogue, her childhood interpretation of family dynamics and her complicated relationship to school. Essay by essay you'll realize that you are not alo It's a tough task to tell childhood stories in an honest way. What I mean is that we often reinterpret encounters and experiences through an adult brain filter and when we do that we lose the most relatable threads from those earlier years. Emilly Prado's mixtape memoirs found and stitched that thread. I felt seen in her choice of friends, inner dialogue, her childhood interpretation of family dynamics and her complicated relationship to school. Essay by essay you'll realize that you are not alone in these experiences and perhaps by the end of the memoir you'll be less lonely in this busy world. Please go get yourself a copy, asap!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Kim

    Funeral for Flaca is touching, tender and skillful. The essays span different time periods of the author's life, and the earlier essays are imbued with a childlike voice that is impressively realistic and vulnerable. Emilly's journalism background shows in her deployment of specific details--details that anyone who was a child during the early aughts will remember with a nostalgic pang. The chapter headings are song titles and together the "playlist" helps to set the mood for each essay and the Funeral for Flaca is touching, tender and skillful. The essays span different time periods of the author's life, and the earlier essays are imbued with a childlike voice that is impressively realistic and vulnerable. Emilly's journalism background shows in her deployment of specific details--details that anyone who was a child during the early aughts will remember with a nostalgic pang. The chapter headings are song titles and together the "playlist" helps to set the mood for each essay and the collection as a whole. This collection thrums with the pain that is being young, alive and living, but the tenderness and humor of the author's voice helps make it feel like it'll all be okay.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karina Agbisit

    What I admire most about this collection are each essay's honesty and vulnerability. Nothing is sugar coated here, giving the reader raw, real insight into over two decades of life. Given pop culture's recent interest in the 90s/00s, this collection feels particularly salient as it reminds us of how we girls and women of color navigated this time period, "baby Phat jeans and straight-laced Chucks" and all. I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of Funeral for Flaca. What I admire most about this collection are each essay's honesty and vulnerability. Nothing is sugar coated here, giving the reader raw, real insight into over two decades of life. Given pop culture's recent interest in the 90s/00s, this collection feels particularly salient as it reminds us of how we girls and women of color navigated this time period, "baby Phat jeans and straight-laced Chucks" and all. I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of Funeral for Flaca.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Gonzalez

    I loved this book! Prado takes an unsparing look at her own life and the complexities and contradictions at the heart of growing up Latina in the United States. Full of music and nostalgia and wit and warmth, this is a must read for anyone who struggled / is struggling to figure out what they're supposed to do next. I loved this book! Prado takes an unsparing look at her own life and the complexities and contradictions at the heart of growing up Latina in the United States. Full of music and nostalgia and wit and warmth, this is a must read for anyone who struggled / is struggling to figure out what they're supposed to do next.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Claire Hopple

    Emilly feels like my new best friend. Her writing is direct yet comforting and relatable yet beautifully distinct.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marilynn Montano

    I instantly started to read this book in bits when I received it in my mailbox. I took this book to coffee shops to read and then back home. I was pacing back in fourth in my room because it’s the grieving parts of self...and so much more from Funeral For Flaca that Emilly Prado captured so well in her essays. Making me a chillona as I turn the page. ♥️ Definitely a must read! I look forward to reading more from Emilly Prado. Definitely, a fierce read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maia Gersten

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lety

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Matthewson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Gardea

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Brizuela

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Santarossa

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cesar

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Macri

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maxim Ermolaev

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lilybeth

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Tran

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rashmila Maiti

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Rhodes

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Hearn

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Viera

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

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