Pioneering Feminist Writer/Theorist Dies

Groundbreaking cultural theorist, Chicana writer, and feminist activist Gloria Anzaldua passed away on Saturday due to diabetes-related complications. Anzaldua was best known among feminist circles for co-editing with Cherrie Moraga This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color in 1981. She most recently reprised this effort with Professor AnaLouise Keating of Texas Women’s University, releasing in 2002 this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation. One of the first openly lesbian Chicana writers, Anzaldua’s book of poetry and prose, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza was named among the best 100 books of the century by Hungry Mind Review and Utne and one of the best 38 books of 1987 by Library Journal. Civil rights activist, theorist, and professor Angela Y. Davis called a collection of published interviews with Anzaldua (Interviews/Entrevistas) “impressive,” offering the reader “a sustained look at Gloria Anzaldua’s insistence on theorizing the personal and on infusing the political with the poetic – words that have shaped feminist theories and practices over the last two decades.” In an open letter posted on Chicanas.com, Moraga wrote, “To all of us, [Anzaldua] was a source of profound [inspiration] in the way she made writing her life’s warrior work.” Anzaldua was the recipient of many awards, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award for This Bridge Called My Back, the Sappho Award of Distinction, a National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She was completing her doctorate at the University of California, Santa Cruz at the time of her death at age 61.


UC Santa Cruz release 5/17/04; Santa Cruz Sentinel 5/18/04; Interviews/Entrevistas 2000; Chicanas.com 5/17/04

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