What Do I Read Next?
Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands: La Frontera (1987) is a collection of personal essays and poetry from one of the major authors of the Chicana/o movement. The first half of the work (personal essays) deals with how Anzaldua sees herself as a woman, an Hispanic, and a lesbian. The second half is a collection of poetry written from Anzaldua's soul, which speaks of heartbreak, joy, loss, and triumph. The text is written in English with a large amount of Spanish without an attempt at translation. Anzaldua argues that her use of Spanish in an English text makes her non-Spanish readers feel just like Hispanic people do in an English-only world.
The House on Mango Street (1989) and Woman Hollering Creek (1991) are the two major works by Sandra Cisneros, perhaps the most recognized writer of the Chicana/o Movement. Both works, the first a novel, the second a collection of short stories, deal with the problems of being female and Hispanic in Anglo-America. The House on Mango Street is a coming of age novel about a Chicago girl named Esperanza, who through coming to grips with the poverty, class hatred, and ethnic stereotypes, creates a world of her own. Woman Hollering Creek is a collection of stories dealing with a vast array of Hispanic women from the young girl discovering sex to a professional woman trying to break the chains of Hispanic wifedom and motherhood.
Gabriella Ibieta's 1993 collection of short stories by Latin American writers contains thirty stories by twenty-two authors from a variety of countries and cultures. The stories are all translated or written in English and display the wide range of themes, similarities, and differences within the Latin community. There are stories by world-renowned authors like Jorge Luis Borges and Juan Rulfo as well as lesser known authors like Luisa Valenzuela and Augusto Roa Bastos.
Ana Castillo's novel The Mixquiahuala Letters (1986) and collection Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe (1997) explore issues of femininity, family, and spirituality. The Mixquiahuala Letters is a novel written in letter or epistolary form telling the story of a friendship between two artists. One is Anglo, the other Hispanic. The novel traces their friendship over twenty years in a kind of odd-couple pairing of opposites who find that they need each other after all. Castillo's collection of essays, stories, and poems dealing with the Virgin of Guadalupe explores similar ground as her...
(The entire section is 600 words.)