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Gloria Anzaldua
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    (September 26, 1942-May 15, 2004)
    Born in Harlingen, Texas
    Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa
    Cultural theorist, feminist
    Author of ‘Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza’ (1987)
    Co-Edited ‘This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color’ (1981)
    Pioneered the Queer Theory concept of 'the new Mestiza consciousness' ('una conciencia de mujer')
    Taught creative writing at San Francisco State University, University of California, and Florida Atlantic University
    Also wrote ‘Friends From the Other Side,’ ‘The Bridge We Call Home,’ ‘Light in the Dark,’ and ‘Prietita y La Llorona’
    She claimed to have had out-of-body experiences on several occasions.
    She left Texas Woman’s University after only two years of coursework.
    While working as a high school teacher, she liked to read her students’ love letters.
    She first became familiar with lesbianism when she saw two girls in her college residence hall making love (she ran down the hall screaming).
    Her work is difficult and confusing to read, mainly due to its random mix of two variations of English and six dialects of Spanish.
    She steadfastly refused to write in a single language, saying ‘as long as I have to accommodate the English tongue will be illegitimate.’ She later simplified her concern by inventing the phrase ‘linguistic terrorism’ to describe it.
    She said ‘While I advocate putting Chicana/tejana/working-class/dyke-feminist poet/writer theorist in front of my name, I do so for reasons different than those of the dominant culture... so that the Chicana and lesbian and all the other persons in me don't get erased, omitted, or killed.’
    She received the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, in 1991.
    She received the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2001.
    As an infant she was diagnosed with a rare hormonal imbalance (one of the symptoms included early menstruation).
    Because she was menstruating at the age of three, she claimed to have grown up without fostering a sexual identity of her own.
    Only after receiving a complete hysterectomy was she able to manage of the almost debilitating pain the condition dealt her reproductive organs.
    She was a pioneer in the feminist movement, teaching a groundbreaking course called ‘The Mexican-American Woman’ at the University of Texas (the first of its kind).
    ‘This Bridge Called My Back,’ on which she worked, became one of the most cited books in feminist theory.
    ‘Borderlands’ was named listed among the 100 Best Books of the Century by both the Hungry Mind Review and Utne Reader.
    The book ‘Borderlands’ broke ground in that it was the first such work to explore the complex facets of Hispanic identity in terms of gender, race, class, and language.
    She died while working on her doctorate in literature, but was posthumously awarded a Ph.D. by the University of California in Santa Cruz.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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