Internationally recognized cultural theorist and creative writer,
Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa, passed away on May 15, 2004
from diabetes-related complications. She was 61 years old. A
versatile author, Anzaldúa published poetry, theoretical
essays, short stories, autobiographical narratives, interviews,
children's books, and multigenre anthologies. As one of the
first openly lesbian Chicana authors, Anzaldúa played
a major role in redefining contemporary Chicano/a and lesbian/queer
identities. And as editor or co-editor of three multicultural
anthologies, Anzaldúa has also played a vital role in
developing an inclusionary feminist movement.
Anzaldúa is best known for Borderlands/La Frontera:
The New Mestiza (1987), a hybrid collection of poetry and
prose which was named one of the 100 Best Books of the Century
by both Hungry Mind Review and Utne Reader.
Anzaldúa's published works also include This Bridge
Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981),
a ground-breaking collection of essays and poems widely recognized
by scholars as the premiere multicultural feminist text; Making
Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives
by Feminists-of-Color (1990), a multigenre collection used
in many university classrooms; two bilingual children's books--Friends
from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado (1993) and Prietita
and the Ghost Woman/ Prietita y la Llorona (1995); Interviews/Entrevistas
(2000), a memoir-like collection of interviews; and this bridge
we call home: radical visions for transformation (2002), a co-edited
collection of essays, poetry, and artwork that examines the
current status of feminist/womanist theorizing. Anzaldúa
has won numerous awards, including the Before Columbus Foundation
American Book Award, the Lamda Lesbian Small Book Press Award,
an NEA Fiction Award, the Lesbian Rights Award, the Sappho Award
of Distinction, an NEA (National endowment for the Arts) Fiction
Award, and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement
Anzaldúa was born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas
in 1942, the eldest child of Urbano and Amalia Anzaldúa.
She received her B.A. from Pan American University, her M.A.
from University of Texas, Austin, and was completing her doctorate
at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is survived
by her mother, Amalia, her sister, Hilda, and two brothers:
Urbano Anzaldúa, Jr. and Oscar Anzaldúa; five
nieces, three nephews, eighteen grandnieces and grandnephews,
a multitude of aunts and uncles, and many close friends.
in California were held June 4th in Santa Cruz and June 13th
and 25th in San Francisco.