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Borderlands / La Frontera: The New Mestiza Fourth Edition Edition

37 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1879960855
ISBN-10: 1879960850
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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Aunt Lute Books; Fourth Edition edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879960850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879960855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gloria Anzaldúa (1942-2004) was a visionary writer whose work was recognized with many honors, including the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, a Lambda literary award, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Award, and the Bode-Pearson Prize for Outstanding Contributions to American Studies. Her book Borderlands/La frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and the Utne Reader.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 61 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Anzaldua weaves a richly complex tapestry which explores many facets of "mestiza" -- of being "caught between" a variety of binary oppositions. Of course, the complicated cultural issues of mestiza are thoroughly addressed in this brilliant, spell-binding book. Also, issues of language (as she weaves a variety of languages and linguistic modes of expression in her text), sexual identity (as a lesbian woman), shamanic consciousness (which she describes as her "waking dream" or the Coatlicue state," and later as the "shamanic state"), and more. The political implications of the book are powerful and engagingly complex. Yet at the same time, the personal and spiritual dimensions of the book are intensly satisfying. I find this book opening up doors of consciousness for me in my own spiritual and creative life. I strongly recommend reading this book at night before going to sleep. It is the kind of literature that expands in the dreaming consciousness.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Borderlands/ La Frontera: the new Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldua is a wonderful piece of literature that refreshes and revitalizes the image of both Chicana/os and lesbians in a refreshing manner that exalts the power and possibilities immanent in both these marginalized perspectives. To reader who are skeptical of the legitimacy behind these positions beware, the immediacy of her prose and poetry may just convert you. But, regardless of ones knowledge of either contemporary issues in the more academic realm of queer theory and Chicano studies. The book is a wonderful achievement and insight into both of these very different and yet connected worlds, which are interlaced throughout the work. The English speaking reader may be wary of a book that does not cater to us as a reader-the book contains both passages in English and Spanish-however, even without access to the Spanish passages the book is a good way of getting to know a very different world than what most straight white middle class America is used to.

The Book is composed of seven essays, which is followed by selections of her poetry. However, do not make the mistake that these essays are only dry theoretical, or historical tales, to inform the reader about the plight of lesbians and Chicana/os, even though this is in some sense what these pieces are about. But Anzaldua's means of presenting of factual material is more akin to the poetry in the second half of the book than what we might normally expect. Her mixing of these genre's serves simultaneously to explore new frontiers both in an aesthetic sense and to truly give new life to her subject matter.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Brian Ward on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
Other reviewers have covered many of the qualities of the work, so I want to dwell on just one point - don't be fooled into thinking that this work is useful only as a personal study on Anzaldua's cultural/gender/queer theory.

Anzaldua is of high importance to any philosophy of the social; within her writing you can find the key insights of figures such as Derrida and Nietzsche, as they relate to personal identity crafted out of a fractured heritage. Her point is that we are ALL borderlanders given that the human condition involves being stretched across a chasm of self-alterity. Only through a full recognition of this can a critical inventory of the self be undertaken, which is a prerequisite to responsibility and genuine care of the self.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Nom de plume on September 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
The US- Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country, a border culture.
This is a superb book. It approaches the themes relating to Chicano identity, and does so through poetry that extends from the included poems to the cultural-socioeconomic exploration that the body of the text undergoes.
In response to negative reviews posted: yes, Borderlands does confront emotional and cultural issues brought up in other Chicano/ border-culture texts. So what. Not enough books have been written about this, especially in this format that reacts to Chicano/ border-related issues in both an intellectual and emotional/ artistic mannor. The book does this with a beautiful poeticism that carries the essence of the hispanic literary tradition, bringing the culture of the written Spanish world into a primarily English-language book.
The Spanglish included is intended for an English-speaking audience, and is not in my opinion of the true transient nature which is inextricable from spoken Spanglish. So at times the language of the writing does feel a tad contrived; using Spanish as a highlighter for key words of certain themes as opposed to allowing it even-handed participation in the exploration of the author's thesis.
While somewhat obnoxious, this choice points to Anzaldua's desire to make this work accesible to people with little or no knowledge of Spanish. This can be seen as a beacon to draw in people who do not as yet see themselves as connected to the Chicano / Hispanic world.
If you like this book, check out the other collections put out by Aunt Lute (the book's original publisher), as well as writings by author/ playwright / peformer Cherrie Morraga, playwright Magdalia Cruz, poet/ artist Ivan Silen.
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