Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle / Edition 1

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Overview

As a Chicana, educator, poet, mother, lecturer, and native of El Paso, Texas, Pat Mora is a denizen of nepantla—a Nahuatl word meaning "land in the middle." In her first collection of essays this award-winning writer negotiates the middle land's many terrains by exploring the personal issues and political responsibilities she faces as a woman of color in the United States. Characterized by a keen sense of community, Nepantla is an important contribution to the growing body of Chicano nonfiction.

Mora explores the issues of cultural preservation—preservation of her own Mexican American culture as a source for her creativity and for her sense of self. She then remembers her encounters with other cultures, which have taught her both to appreciate and to spotlight the stunning riches and injustices of her own country. Mora's insights on bilingualism, education, women, and family are sometimes barbed and always exact. Sprinkled like blossoms on a springtime cholla, excerpts from Mora's own poems crystallize her thoughts and insights into unforgettable images.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The author's sense of identity both as a Latina and as a member of Anglo-American society evokes the unique title of this collection (a Nahuatl word for ``place in the middle''). These essays assume various forms: lectures, speeches, poems, reminiscences--some polemical, others whimsical. Mora's experiences while traveling both here and abroad sustain the theme that the cultural heritage of ethnic groups is valuable and deserves to be preserved. Anglo society, on the contrary, is faulted for its materialism and failure to appreciate cultural diversity. The author's insistent cultural call-to-arms is mollifed by such an imaginative interpretation of museums as ``pleasure havens.'' Although its intended audience is general, this collection could be useful for educators and serve as a source of encouragement to others who, like the author, consider themselves ``in the middle.'' Recommended for multicultural collections.-- Charles E. Perry, East Central Univ., Ada, Okla.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826345271
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Santa Fe poet Pat Mora, author of nonfiction and children's books, has received numerous writing awards including a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, a Premio Aztlán Literature Award, and a National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. She has also received honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, a lifetime honorary membership from the American Library Association, and a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Bienvenidos 3
2 The Border: A Glare of Truth 10
3 Endangered Species 15
4 Used Furniture 38
5 The Dance Within My Heart 48
6 Desert Women 53
7 Remembering Lobo 73
8 My Fierce Mother 80
9 A Conversation with My Three 85
10 Snapshots: Puerto Vallarta 90
11 Reading Poetry in Pakistan 95
12 Island Images: The Dominican Republic 101
13 A Haze in Guatemala 107
14 Escribe, Escribe 115
15 Poet as Curandera 124
16 Unseen Teachers 132
17 To Gabriela, a Young Writer 138
18 Emerging Voices: The Teaching of Writing 143
19 Universities: A Mirage? 149
20 A Poet for President 172
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