Get to know Brittany Means

Brittany Means is a Chicana writer and editor living in Albuquerque, NM. A graduate of Iowa's MFA Nonfiction Writing Program, Means has worked with Inara Verzemnieks and Kiese Laymon. She has received several awards for her work, including the Magdalena Award, the Geneva Fellowship, the Grace Paley Fellowship, and the Herodotus Award.


Martinsville, Indiana

Fun fact

Once, while I was driving late at night way out in rural Colorado, I saw a UFO. Two years later, I learned it was just StarLink. :(

Favorite author

Impossible to choose just one, but I'll list four of my favorites: T.M. Tucker, Sarah Hollowell, Rachel Sudbeck, and Darius Stewart

Favorite place in the world

Out in nature. It doesn't necessarily matter where. I love to wander in some woods or in the desert.

Favorite place to read

Hither and yon; I move around while I read

Books by Brittany Means

Hell If We Don't Change Our Ways

Published October 3, 2023



An ode to the power of the human spirit and the written word to combat the most harrowing of childhood memories.  


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Brittany Means’s childhood was a blur of highways and traumas that collapsed any effort to track time. Riding shotgun as her mother struggled to escape abusive relationships, Brittany didn’t care where they were going—to a roadside midwestern motel, a shelter, or The Barn in Indiana, the cluttered mansion her Pentecostal grandparents called home—as long as they were together. But every so often, her mom would surprise her—and leave.

As Brittany grew older and questioned her own complicated relationships and the poverty, abuse, and instability that enveloped her, she began to recognize that hell wasn’t only the place she read about in the Bible; it was the cycle of violence that entrapped her family. Through footholds such as horror movies, neuropsychology, and strong bonds, Brittany makes sense of this cycle and finds a way to leave it.

While untangling the web of her most painful memories, Brittany crafts a tale of self-preservation, resilience, and hope with a unique narrative style—a sparkling example of the human ability to withstand the most horrific experiences and still thrive.

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Hell If We Don't Change Our Ways