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Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories

by Donna Miscolta

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Set in 1960s and ’70s California, Living Color follows Angie Rubio, a Mexican-American girl from kindergarten through high school. These linked stories trace her development as a writer as she faces systemic racism, navigates the cliques and clubs of grade school, and ultimately, becomes a shy, funny girl.

“We have all been Angie Rubio, voiceless, rejected, but always on the precipice of being more.” – Ivelisse Rodriguez, author of Love War Stories

“Angie Rubio shows us how to survive as a ‘smart’ girl-of-color in a world gone mad during the 1960s.” – Kathleen Alcalá, author of Spirits of the Ordinary

“With the stories collected in Living Color, Donna Miscolta takes care to depict the inner life of Angie Rubio as full of hope and torment, insight and silence, rebellion and resignation. When does society seed self-effacement into the body of a young brown girl? By what means can she uproot that invasive shame? With patient tenderness, Miscolta traces Rubio’s gradual awakening, providing readers an empathetic map for recognizing their own complicity.” – Kristen Millares Young, author of Subduction

Set in California in the 1960s and ’70s, the linked stories in Living Color take Angie Rubio year by thorny year from kindergarten through high school, offering a humorous, biting, but always compassionate portrait of the artist as a shy, awkward Mexican-American girl.

Against the backdrop of the Cold War and civil rights eras, Living Color delivers the milestones of American girlhood—slumber parties, training bras, proms—through the eyes of “brown, skinny, and bespectacled” Angie, who learns early that pageant winners, cheerleaders, and the Juliets in school plays are always white, and that big vocabularies are useless in navigating cliques and clubs.

Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories traces Angie’s formation as a writer, from the diffident, earnest child who jots down new words in a notebook to the emboldened high school student publishing unpopular opinions in her new “loud-enough-to-be-heard” voice.

Praise for Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories

“Miscolta writes gorgeous, luminous sentences, at turns funny and heartbreaking, searing and wise.” – Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra

“A captivating collection on identity, alien­ation, belonging, and the meaning of friendship and family.” – Soniah Kamal, author of Unmarriageable

“As Angie Rubio comes of age in the 1960s, she experiences racial microaggressions on top of the usual confounding moments of dislocation and otherness that comes with growing up. You will root for Angie as you come to know her through these immersive stories.” – Grace Talusan, author of The Body Papers

“I loved this novel-in-stories, and I adored Angie Rubio. It was a pure delight to watch her grow from kindergarten to high school senior. Sometimes wincing, sometimes smiling, I relived—through Angie’s experiences—some of my own at those same ages.” – Nancy Pearl, author of George and Lizzie

Critical Acclaim:









Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories is the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Multicultural, Fiction) winner. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards is one of the largest awards programs for indie authors and independent publishers.