Born on September 26th, 1942 in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, Chicana writer and scholar Gloria E. Anzaldúa, like many Latinos born in the U.S., lived a life of duality. This duality inspired some of her greatest work. Growing up in border towns she constantly felt like she was neither here nor there and wrote critically acclaimed poems, essays and prose about her experiences along the borders of her identity and the actual border towns she grew up along.
Google honored Anzaldúa on what would have been her 75th birthday with a Google Doodle, and bio on her life.
— Google Doodles (@GoogleDoodles) September 26, 2017
From the Google Doodle Blog:
Today’s Doodle celebrates Anzaldúa’s ability to live across borders, whether geographical, social, or philosophical. She put it best: “To survive the Borderlands / you must live sin fronteras / be a crossroads.”
According to Google, Anzaldúa graduated from Pan American University in 1969 and became an educator, teaching migrant students while traveling with them.
She was also a preschool and special education teacher and authored several children’s books including “Prietita Has a Friend,” “Friends from the Other Side – Amigos del Otro Lado,” and “Prietita y La Llorona.”
Although, she was a scholar and children’s author, she is best known for her autobiographical work “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza” and the groundwork it laid for queer and gender studies.
Credit: Amazon/ K. Kendall/ Flickr
“Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mesitza,” Anzaldúa’s most famous work switches between English and Spanish, and various styles from poetry, to prose, and to critical essays. The bilingual and experimental mix of styles put Anzaldúa’s book on the “Literary Journal” list of the 38 best books of 1987. It is recognized for its groundbreaking work in both feminist and queer theory, as it delves into the relationship of Latinas, and lesbians in American culture and society.
Since her passing in 2004 at the age of 61, she’s been awarded a posthumous doctorate in literature from University of California Santa Cruz and the the Gloria E. Anzaldúa book prize was created in her memory by the National Women’s Studies Association. The book prize aims to honor “groundbreaking monographs in women’s studies that makes significant multicultural feminist contributions to women of color.”
According to Google, she once said “It’s not a comfortable territory to live in, this place of contradictions.” In 2017, with all the issues facing people who straddle both internal and actual borders, both politically and psychologically, her words have just as much meaning now. If not more so.
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