Radical rhetoric: Excavating Gloria Anzaldúa's “La Prieta”




Camp, Jessica Rae

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First published in 1981 in This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, Anzaldúa's short autohistoria, "La Prieta," represents an important, though frequently overlooked, aspect of her work. Although Anzaldúa was a prolific writer, scholars often focus extensively on Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. By ignoring other components of Anzaldúa's ouvre, scholars lose the opportunity to examine the ways in which these other texts can deepen and enhance our understanding of Anzaldúa's work. This study explores the early manuscript drafts of "La Prieta" (now located in the Anzaldúa Archives at the Nettie Lee Benson Library). Insights from these early drafts illustrate Anzaldúa's complex writing process and her radical theoretical perspectives in "La Prieta" (particularly the perspectives which don't make their way into the published version of this essay). By highlighting the complicated, radical dimensions of "La Prieta," this study suggests the value in examining Anzaldúa's earlier works, including her unpublished manuscripts and her writing process. Furthermore, this study encourages scholars to recognize Anzaldúa's vocation as an artist while bringing attention to the archives.



Social sciences, Language, literature, and linguistics, Anzaldua, Gloria, Latin American literature, American literature