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No. 6 Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)

Gloria Anzaldúa

Borderlands/La Frontera

It’s hard to overstate the impact of Anzaldúa, who was born in Raymondville, in creating a new understanding of Texan Chicana/Chicano identity. Her epoch-marking book incorporates echoes of Dobie, Paredes, and both Carlos Castañedas—the Texas historian and the California shaman—and combines autobiography, poetry, mystical imaginings, and biting indictments of culture and gender as she tries to conjure a new way for the mestiza/mestizo to think about self. Anzaldúa called this concept of identity Nepantlismo, a term inspired by the Aztec word “nepantla,” for the netherworld—a fluid space not unlike Texas itself.

 

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