The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader

The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader

Latin America Otherwise

More about this series

Book Pages: 376 Illustrations: 10 illustrations Published: October 2009

Subjects
Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Gender and Sexuality > LGBTQ Studies

Born in the Río Grande Valley of south Texas, independent scholar and creative writer Gloria Anzaldúa was an internationally acclaimed cultural theorist. As the author of Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzaldúa played a major role in shaping contemporary Chicano/a and lesbian/queer theories and identities. As an editor of three anthologies, including the groundbreaking This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, she played an equally vital role in developing an inclusionary, multicultural feminist movement. A versatile author, Anzaldúa published poetry, theoretical essays, short stories, autobiographical narratives, interviews, and children’s books. Her work, which has been included in more than 100 anthologies to date, has helped to transform academic fields including American, Chicano/a, composition, ethnic, literary, and women’s studies.

This reader—which provides a representative sample of the poetry, prose, fiction, and experimental autobiographical writing that Anzaldúa produced during her thirty-year career—demonstrates the breadth and philosophical depth of her work. While the reader contains much of Anzaldúa’s published writing (including several pieces now out of print), more than half the material has never before been published. This newly available work offers fresh insights into crucial aspects of Anzaldúa’s life and career, including her upbringing, education, teaching experiences, writing practice and aesthetics, lifelong health struggles, and interest in visual art, as well as her theories of disability, multiculturalism, pedagogy, and spiritual activism. The pieces are arranged chronologically; each one is preceded by a brief introduction. The collection includes a glossary of Anzaldúa’s key terms and concepts, a timeline of her life, primary and secondary bibliographies, and a detailed index.

Praise

“[T]he editor, AnaLouise Keating, does a great job of including a bit of everything in almost every way. There are poems, fictional stories, autobiographical pieces, drawings, transcripts of talks and email exchanges, and so forth. . . . It gives a great introduction to people who have never before read Anzaldúa’s work, but even die-hard fans will like the book because it includes a good amount of unpublished material.” — Frau Sally Benz, Feminist Review blog

“Keating collects poems, essays, prose and commentaries by Anzaldúa, revealing the public figure the pathbreaking queer Chicana writer as well as a sensual and deeply spiritual iconoclast. Anzaldúa’s voice emerges defiant, mercenary, passionate and unapologetic. . . . . The book is punctuated by Anzaldúa’s simple drawings, exercises in deconstruction and reconstruction of identity. Her writings capturing her relentless fight to avoid being stereotyped and to empower women of color within and without academia are rich and various, exploring everything from gender, memory and oppression to sex in the afterlife.” — Publishers Weekly,

“Keating’s introduction provides a clear context for these writings and further establishes Anzaldúa’s centrality as a key feminist writer and theorist. Covering a 30-year span, Keating’s thoughtful selections accomplish three stated goals: to make the book ‘useful to a wide variety of readers, from those who are entirely unfamiliar with Anzaldúa and her writings to scholars who have studied her work for years,’ to ‘showcase Anzaldúa’s diversity in topics, genres, and approaches,’ and to remain true to Anzaldúa’s complex aesthetics and vision. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.” — E. Rodriguez y Gibson, Choice

“This reader . . . demonstrates the breadth and philosophical depth of her work. . . . [It] offers fresh insights into crucial aspects of Anzaldúa's life and career, including her upbringing, education, teaching experiences, writing practice and aesthetics, lifelong health struggles, and interest in visual art, as well as her theories of disability, multiculturalism, pedagogy, and spiritual activism.” — Frauen Solidarität,

The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader is the first and most comprehensive collection of Anzaldúa’s works. Keating has woven them carefully and artfully together into a tapestry sparkling with Anzaldúa’s insights, such as her theories of new tribalism, left-handed world, la mestiza consciousness, and spiritual activism.” — Xiumei Pu, Feminist Formations,

“Compiled and edited by AnaLouise Keating, Anzaldúa’s long-time co-editor on decolonizing book projects such as this bridge we call home, The Anzaldúa Reader provides an in-depth view of the wide scope of Anzaldúa’s interests and the developing nature of key concepts throughout her writing career. And it is this developing life project of Anzaldúa, the queer mestiza writer-poet-healer-activist, that provides the narrative structure for the Reader.” — George Hartley, Southwestern American Literature

“The Reader does a good job of offering a wide range of Anzaldúa’s writings, from her most famous and well-loved essays that appeared in the seminal Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza to never-before-published poems, experimental fiction, interviews, e-mail communications, and unfinished pieces. Anzaldúa was a notorious perfectionist, sometimes revising essays and stories until an editor had to yank them from her hands. Still, this selection would’ve made Anzaldúa proud.” — Liliana Valenzuela, Texas Observer

“This stunning anthology offers the best of Anzaldua, a versatile author, self-described as a queer mestiza Chicana feminist poet-philosopher. Her prolific poetry, theory, ‘autohistoria,’ short stories, and drawings are compiled in this thought-provoking volume.” — WATERwheel,

“This readermade me see and love Anzaldúa anew. Her words have always moved me at a deep aesthetic and intellectual level, and this reader challenged my thinking about identities and representation even more profoundly. Reading the previously unpublished works alongside those that are so familiar was like finding an undiscovered passageway in a house I know well: transformative.” — Suzanne Bost, author of Encarnación: Illness and Body Politics in Chicana Feminist Literature


“AnaLouise Keating’s compilation of Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘early,’ ‘middle,’ and ‘later’ writings provides a service to scholars; additionally, it is a joy to read Gloria’s voice seeped in ‘shaman aesthetics’ that impel and move us to radical action. Undoubtedly, Anzaldúa’s impact on various levels—including academic fields such as border studies, women’s studies, and American studies—is long-lasting and profound.” — Norma E. Cantú, University of Texas at San Antonio, founder of the Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldúa


“Gloria Anzaldúa was a courageous participant in late-twentieth-century decolonial movements. Throughout this reader she insists that academic knowledge must take into account the spirit-body-emotions-mind matrix. Such an accounting would transform academic knowledge, she believed, and make way for emancipatory modes of knowing and for brave, new subjects of history. The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader samples the bold lifework of a woman whose aims were to relieve suffering and to envision a decolonizing social affinity capable of uniting humanity in love.” — Chela Sandoval, author of Methodology of the Oppressed


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands/La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader. AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa’s Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

AnaLouise Keating, Professor of Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University, is the author of Women Reading, Women Writing: Self-Invention in Paula Gunn Allen, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde; editor of Anzaldúa’s Interviews/Entrevistas and EntreMundos/AmongWorlds: New Perspectives on Gloria Anzaldúa; and co-editor, with Anzaldúa, of this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Reading Gloria Anzaldúa, Reading Ourselves . . . Complex Intimacies, Intricate Connections 1

Part One. "Early" Writings

TIHUEQUE 19

To Delia, Who Failed on Principles 20

Reincarnation 21

The Occupant 22

I Want To Be Shocked Shitless 23

The New Speakers 24

Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers 26

The coming of el mundo surdo 36

La Prieta 38

El paisano is a bird of good omen 51

Dream of the Double-Faced Woman 70

Foreword to the Second Edition (of This Bridge Called My Back) 72

Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Body: An Interview with Linda Smuckler 74

Part Two. "Middle" Writings

Enemy of the State 97

Del Otro Lado 99

Encountering the Medusa 101

Creativity and Switching in Modes of Consciousness 103

En Rapport, In Opposition: Cobrando cuentas a las nuestras 111

The Presence 119

Metaphors in the Tradition of the Shaman 121

Haciendo caras, una entrada 124

Bridge, Drawbridge, Sandbar, or Island: Lesbians-of-Color Hacienda Alianzas 140

Ghost Trap/Trampa de espanto 157

To(o) Queer the Writer—Loca, escritora y chicana 163

Border Arte: Nepantla, El Lugar de la Frontera 176

On the Process of Writing Borderlands / La Frontera 187

La vulva is una herida abierta / The vulva is an open wound 198

The New Mestiza Nation: A Multicultural Movement 203

Part Three. Gallery of Images 217

Part Four. "Later" Writings

Foreword to Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit 229

How to 232

Memoir—My Calling; or, Notes for "How Prieta Came to Write" 235

When I write I hover 238

Transforming American Studies: 2001 Bode-Pearson Prize Acceptance Speech 239

Yemayá 242

(Un)natural bridges, (Un)safe spaces 243

Healing wounds 249

Reading LP 250

A Short Q&A between LP and Her Author (GEA) 274

Like a spider in her web 276

Bearing Witness: Their Eyes Anticipate the Healing 277

The Postmodern Llorona 280

Speaking across the Divide 282

Llorona Coyolxauhqui 295

Disability & Identity: An E-mail Exchange & a Few Additional Thoughts 298

Let us be the healing of the wound: The Coyolxauhqui imperative—la sombra y el sueño 303

Appendix 1: Glossary 319

Appendix 2: Timeline: Some Highlights from Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa's Life 325

Bibliography 337

Index 351



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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4564-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4555-8
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