Painting Their Portraits In Winter

Myriam Gurba

“Imaginations are the ultimate haunted houses,” Myriam Gurba muses in this collection of connected short stories. We ​are in ​awe ​of Gurba’s gift for blending supernatural elements like ghosts, spinsters who cook children alive, and graveyard spirits with all-too-real narratives surrounding death, philandering ancestors, and AIDS.

A storyteller of the leanest and meanest variety, Gurba writes from the Borderlands between different countries, ethnicities, generations, and desires. Painting Their Portraits in Winter begins with an abuelita telling her nietos scary stories and concludes with the reader being unable to distinguish that abuelita from Gurba herself.


You may purchase this book directly from Manic D Press.


About the Author

Myriam Gurba


MYRIAM GURBA lives in California and loves it. She teaches high school, writes, and makes “art.” NBC described her short story collecting Painting their Portraits in Winter as “edgy, thought-provoking, and funny.” Her first book, Dahlia Season, won the Publishing Triangle’s Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. She has written for Time, KCET, and The Rumpus. Wildflowers, compliments, and cash make her happy. ​

I opened my eye. It was not confronted by pussy. That onslaught only happened in Tío Miguel’s room. If Abuelito was hogging the bathroom, the only other toilet you could use was Miguel’s, and to earn relief you had to journey through the labyrinth of pornography that filled his bedroom.

Even on his toilet, Miguel treated you to muff. On the door across from his commode hung a life-size poster of a lady in a see-through blouse splaying herself, Georgia O'Keefing you as things shot out of your own flower. I minded all the pussy but, at the same time, part of me welcomed it.

Myriam Gurba, “Georges Bataille, Look Into My Eye”