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Anzaldua at the liminal edges of identity

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BORDERLAND CONSTRUCTING AUTOBIOGRAPHY: ANZALDUA AT THE LIMINAL EDGES OF IDENTITY
SUSHMA JOSHI
A shorter version of this was published at Mosaic Literary Magazine



Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands: La Frontera is a book that transcends all boundaries of genre and style. A text that includes poetry side by side with fragments of mainstream history, and intermixes them with personal and collective testimony, memory, revisionist history and journal entries, the closest description of it could be a poetic-political auto-ethnobiography. At once dialogic and polyvocal, the book has been one of the seminal texts in expanding notions of self-representation, and ways of formulating identity in late twentieth century America.

In this paper, I look at some of the ways that Borderlands influenced and expanded the genre and conceptualization of autobiography. Anzaldua is clearly writing herself into existence through her act of creativity, and in this process she acknowledges and brings into bei…