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One of Ana Castillo’s influences has been Columbian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. Research the life and works of Garcia Marquez and comment on the impact he has had on Latin American and world literature.

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Another influence on Castillo is the “magical realism” movement made famous by a number of prominent Latin American writers. Describe magical realism and name some of the members of the movement from South America.

Castillo is considered one of the best writers in Chicana literature. What is Chicana literature? What are its distinguishing features? In what time period has this literature been written?

“While I Was Gone a War Began” is a poem about the violence in our world. Elsewhere in I Ask the Impossible, Castillo makes mention of Sister Dianna Ortiz, Anna Mae Aquash, and Comandante Ramona. Who are these women and what is their connection to violence in world affairs?

It is often mentioned that Castillo participated in the Chicano Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. What was this movement and how did it differ from that of African Americans?

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