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  • Martina Bekasha

Podcast: Book Talk and More

Don't miss out on this week's episode of Penumbra Online's podcast, where Lauren and her co-hosts Autumn and Andrea will be taking the platform! The podcast features Kamila, Rosa, and Jimena as their guests. The latest podcast was recorded on Monday, October 16, in the writing center at CSU Stanislaus. This podcast is unique due to its special partnership with the Language Circle. Allow me to introduce you to the Language Circle, a vibrant group at Stan State. Their purpose is to foster connections between native and non-native Spanish speakers. They achieve this by offering conversational Spanish lessons and providing valuable insights into Hispanic culture. The podcast centers on the exploration of the book, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sánchez. Just a heads up for those who want to listen to the podcast, there are spoilers included!

The book is often categorized as a young adult fiction novel, but it does delve into many of the author's personal experiences. The story centers on Julia, a young woman who grapples with her role as the daughter in her family. She navigates the difficulties of managing two separate identities by dealing with mental health obstacles, confronting societal expectations, and challenging traditional gender norms. Given Julia's background in an immigrant family, specifically a Mexican household, she encounters certain challenges that may not be encountered by the typical American girl. This episode dives into the challenges Julia faces and her approaches for overcoming them.

The conversation revolves around the societal pressures placed on women and the constraints experienced by those raised in immigrant households, where complete freedom is often not permitted. It is important to comply with the rules set by your parents. Julia attempts to challenge conventional norms and societal pressures as she seeks to comprehend her elder sister, Olga. Although Olga does not make a direct appearance in the novel, she gradually becomes a significant character as the story unfolds.

Lauren starts off by inquiring with Kamala, Rosa, and Jimena about their choice of language for reading the book. All three of them confirm that they read it in English. However, the guests mentioned that reading it in Spanish for Spanish speakers might be more beneficial, as translations can sometimes be imperfect. The podcast also mentions that this book is open to a wide range of readers, regardless of their cultural background. According to Lauren, she found great enjoyment in this book as it allowed her to develop a deeper sense of empathy by immersing herself in the diverse experiences of others. Autumn finds this book relatable, regardless of whether or not one shares the same background as the main character.

The group proceeds to delve into the key concepts and themes of the text, as well as the notion of mental health. They explore the issue of stigma surrounding immigrant background families and the lack of open conversation about mental health and therapy within these households. Lauren believes this podcast episode holds great significance as it contributes to a larger societal conversation that is crucial and relevant in today's world. If you want to delve deeper into this book and listen to the engaging conversations surrounding it, feel free to tune in to this week's podcast! I will provide the link to access the podcast below.

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