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Internationally recognized cultural theorist and creative writer, Gloria
Evangelina Anzaldúa, passed away on May 15 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 Award.

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. A public memorial will be planned at a later date.
"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive" ~ Audre Lorde

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