Today’s episode is a continuation of episode 2 of our podcast. In that episode, we spoke with Mireya S. Vela about the life experiences that were the soil that nourished her book, Vestiges of Courage: Collected Essays, published by The Nasiona.
Vestiges of Courage is a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Raised between two cultures and two languages, Mireya S. Vela discusses how the systems in her family and in society worked to create an abusive environment that felt crushing, confusing, and hopeless. In her book, Ms. Vela delineates her experience of living through sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. This book is much more than a collection of experiences, though. Ms. Vela wants to know how and why abuse thrived in her family. She digs deep to understand why these things happened and how she survived.
In this episode, we share four essays included Mireya S. Vela's forthcoming book, Vestiges of Courage, Collected Essays.
Act 1: "Legacy of Rape," originally published by Not Your Mother's Breast Milk and read by Andrea Auten.
"Legacy of Rape" is the story of a family that is built on rape—and how that family, the women in particular, make rape expected and acceptable.
Act 2: "Doctores," originally published by The Nasiona and read by Monique Shutt.
When people are marginalized, their doctors are, too. In “Doctores,” Ms. Vela remembers her childhood and the decisions she and her family made.
Act 3: "The Bridge," originally published by Collective Unrest and read by Anuja Ghimire.
“The Bridge” is an essay about how a language splits a person and splits a family. This story is also about the inequities families undergo in the United States.
Act 4: "Touch : Tocar," originally published by Miracle Monocle and read by Aïcha Martine Thiam.
In “Touch : Tocar,” Ms. Vela contemplates the word “touch”, what it means in Spanish, what it means in English, and how they come together for a girl and her body.