Gloria Anzaldúa- “A Woman Who Writes Has Power”

Becca Anderson, author of The Book of Awesome Women Writers, has written a new blog post on the life and career of author and scholar Gloria Anzaldúa.

Gloria E. Anzaldúa (1942–2004) was a writer and scholar of feminist, queer, and Chicana cultural theory. Having grown up on the border between Texas and Mexico, her work was informed by her own experience of identity issues connected to language, culture, color, and gender roles and sexuality.

Her semiautobiographical Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987),
a collection of essays and poems, helped establish her authority in Chicana theory. To reflect the multicultural experience, it was written using two variations of English and six of Spanish. She is also known for coediting This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981) and editing Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Women of Color (1990), as well as for coediting This Bridge We Call Home: Radical Visions for Transformation (2002). The greatest development of her philosophy is expressed in the posthumously published book Light in the Dark (2004), which was drawn from her unfinished dissertation at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She was awarded a doctorate in literature a year after her death.

One of her greatest contributions was introducing the concept of mistizaje to American academic audiences, which expresses a state of being beyond the binary. The “borderlands” that she refers to in her writing extend beyond the geographical to refer to the juxtapositions and contradictions of race, culture, religion, sexuality, and language. Among her many award-winning works, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza was recognized as one of the thirty- eight best books of 1987 by Library Journal and one of the hundred best books of the century by both Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader.

A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.

Gloria E. Anzaldúa


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