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Ana Castillo: 1953—: Novelist, Poet, and Essayist - Story Published In Usa Today

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographyAna Castillo: 1953—: Novelist, Poet, and Essayist Biography - Became Disillusioned With Art Studies, Inspired By Telenovelas, Story Published In Usa Today

Story Published in USA Today

That same year, Castillo wrote a story called "Juan in a Million" that was published in that most mainstream of American print outlets, the Sunday-newspaper insert USA Weekend. Castillo herself would not agree, however, that her writing has moved in a mainstream direction; an enthusiastic promoter of a community of Latina writers, she believes that the growth in the field of Latin American women's writing as a whole has allowed alternative viewpoints to gain wider exposure. She continued to enjoy wide success with the novel Peel My Love Like an Onion (1999), which was set in Chicago's gypsy community and told the story of a handicapped flamenco dancer, and with a collection of her poetry, I Ask the Impossible, published in 2001.

Castillo rejects the term "Hispanic" in favor of "Latina" or "Chicana," arguing that the first of these terms signifies a determination to become assimilated into mainstream American society. She herself coined the term "Xicanisma," ("Chican-isma") to denote a specifically Mexican-American brand of feminism that aimed toward a new vision of society untouched by male-dominated, European-derived social structures. As Castillo put it in a Mester interview quoted in Feminist Writers, "[I]t's not about assimilation, it's really about looking for ways for us to survive as people." Considered one of the most prominent American writers of Latin descent by 2002, Ana Castillo remained a prolific and energetic communicator of an idealistic stance that sought to right the injustices of American history.

Selected writings

Zero Makes Me Hungry (poetry), Scott, Foresman, 1975.

i close my eyes (to see) (poetry), Washington State University Press, 1976.

Otro canto (poetry), Alternativa Publications, ca. 1977.

Clark Street Counts (play), produced 1983.

Women Are Not Roses, Arte Publico, 1984.

The Mixquiahuala Letters (novel), 1986.

My Father Was a Toltec: Poems, West End Press, 1988, reprinted as My Father Was a Toltec and Selected Poems 1973-1988, Norton, 1995.

Sapogonia: An Anti-Romance in 3/8 Meter (novel), Bilingual Press, 1990.

So Far from God (novel), Norton (New York City), 1993.

Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma, University of New Mexico Press, 1994.

Loverboys (stories), W. W. Norton, 1996.

Peel My Love Like an Onion (novel), 1999.

I Ask the Impossible (poems), Doubleday, 2001.



Contemporary Women Poets, St. James, 1998.

Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Gale, 1996.

Feminist Writers, St. James, 1996.


Library Journal, October 15, 2000, p. 53; January 1, 2001, p. 111.

MELUS, Fall 1997, p. 133.

Publishers Weekly, August 12, 1996, p. 59.

The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 1997, p. 201.


Contemporary Authors Online. The Gale Group, 2001. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group. 2001. (http: //www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC).

—James M. Manheim

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