Gloria Anzaldúa (1942–2004)

Chicana American lesbian-feminist poet and writer. Anzaldúa was born to Mexican American parents and worked on the family ranch in southern Texas until attending Pan American University as the first woman from her family to attend college. She received an M.A. in English from the University of Texas, Austin, and embarked on a career as a writer, college instructor, independent scholar, and social activist. Her most ambitious work, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987), examines “border women” like herself who grew up estranged from both their Mexican Indian heritage and also the Anglo-American society that considers them outsiders. Her other works include the anthology This Bridge Called My Back (co-edited with Cherrie Moraga, 1981); Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras (1990); and La Prieta (1997), an autobiographical essay written in her characteristic “Spanglish,” a mixture of Spanish and English. See also voices.cla.umn.edu/artistpages/anzaldua.php.