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Crossing, Trespassing, and Subverting Borders in Chicana Writing


Debora Holler

The border and border-crossing and its significance for the Chicana in a cultural, social, gendered, and spiritual sense are at the core of this book. The three oeuvres selected—Helena Viramontes’ The Moths and Other Stories, Ana Castillo’s The Mixquiahuala Letters, and Norma Cantú’s Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera—are eloquent examples of feminist Chicana writers who refuse to allow their lives to be restricted by the gender, social, racial, and cultural border and who portray how Chicana women rebel against the unfair treatment they receive from their fathers, husbands and lovers. Crossing and deconstructing the man-made borders means to leave behind the known territory and discover an unknown land, in the hope of finding a new world in which Chicana women have the same rights as white women and in which they can realize their self, develop a new mestiza consciousness and liberate themselves from patriarchal constraints and religious beliefs. The author shows how the newly won self-confidence empowers the Chicana to explore the opportunities this freedom offers.

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Map 1. The State of Mixquiahuala in Central Mexico Today 1

Map 2. The State of Mixquiahuala in Central Mexico Today 2

Map 3. Map between Texas (US) and Tamaulipas (Mexico)

Pic. 1. Nena of Three

Pic. 2. Tino

Pic. 3. China Poblana One and Two

Pic. 4. Azucena as a One-Year-Old Baby and Mexican Citizen

Pic. 5. Body Hair

Pic. 6. Lola’s Wedding

Pic. 7. Elisa

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