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Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific - Meliza Bañales

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From the forests, beaches, and Xicano community of Santa Cruz to the smokey punk bars, strip clubs, and Queer-girl culture of San Francisco, these are the stories of being young, drunk, punk and Xicana in Northern California in the 90's. Missy Fuego is an eighteen-year-old Xicana, the first in her family to leave home and accept a scholarship at a prestigious yet hippie university tucked away in the Redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains in 1996. But scholarship money proves to be tough, and she has to moonlight as a stripper to pay the bills in "the city," putting her at constant odds with two developing worlds. Through her daily journey to get things done she manages to get entangled with a series of diverse and important people, dodging close-calls, neo-nazi skinheads, Xicano authenticity battles, Riot Grrrl race politics, and hippies, all the while exploring her Queer identity, getting paid through her thong, and learning to take a chance on herself.


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