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Borderlands/La Frontera

The New Mestiza, Critical Edition


By Gloria Anzaldúa

Edited by Ricardo F. Vivancos-Pérez and Norma Cantú.

Afterword by AnaLouise Keating

Aunt Lute Books is pleased to publish the critical edition of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, written by Gloria Anzaldúa, edited by Ricardo F. Vivancos-Pérez and Norma Cantú. Featuring an afterword by scholar AnaLouise Keating, this conclusive exploration into the iconic text that changed the course of Chicanx, queer, and feminist theory breathes new life into the themes still present in today’s political and social climate. At the same time this book offers insight into the construction of Anzaldúa’s philosophies. 

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza was first published in 1987 after an organic composition process, mixing prose and poetry and integrating personal memories with a philosophical search for a consciousness-raising and coalition-building method for the oppressed. Conceptually innovative, visionary, and rebellious at the time, Borderlands has continued to be studied as a distinctive creative work and a spiritual guidebook to heal and empower Chicanxs, queer communities of color, and other marginalized groups. Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa’s experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in Borderlands/La Frontera, her first book and signature work, remap our understanding of “borders” as psychic, social, and cultural terrains that we inhabit and that inhabit all of us. 

Drawing heavily on archival research and a comprehensive literature review, this critical edition elucidates Anzaldúa’s complex composition process and its centrality in the development of her philosophy and contextualizes the book within her theories and writings before and after its 1987 publication. It opens with two introductory studies; offers a corrected text, explanatory footnotes, translations, and four archival appendices; and closes with an updated bibliography of Anzaldúa’s works, an extensive scholarly bibliography on Borderlands, and her biography.

Named one of the “Best Books of 1987” by Library Journal


Selected by Utne Reader as part of its “Alternative Canon” in 1998


One of Hungry Mind Review's “Best 100 Books of the 20th Century”


Imagine Borderlands as a timeless pyramid of ideas that has been added to, deconstructed, reconstructed, transcribed, translated, and trans-interpreted by every generation of Chicanx and non-Chicanx feminist scholars in the thirty-five years since its publication. This critical edition offers both a painstakingly articulated scholarly scaffolding around Anzaldúa’s original text and a bridge into the life and memory of the author who designed the blueprint of that pyramid.

— Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Professor of Chicana/o Studies, English, and Gender Studies, UCLA


Vivancos-Pérez takes readers by the hand in this straightforward, well-crafted edition, offering a detailed introduction describing the eminent author’s iterative process of writing Borderlands. The archival documents—including unpublished poetry and essays with Anzaldúa’s own annotations—add flavor, temperament, and in-depth insight into the complex philosopher’s early writings. Scholars, students, family, soul-mates, and friends of Anzaldúa (myself included) will be thrilled with this long-awaited, noteworthy critical edition.

— Emma Pérez, author of The Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History


Ricardo F. Vivancos-Pérez’s meticulous archival work and Norma Elia Cantú’s life experience and expertise converge to offer a stunning resource for Anzaldúa scholars; for writers, artivists, and activists inspired by her work; and for everyone. Hereafter, no study of Borderlands will be complete without this beautiful, essential reference.

— Paola Bacchetta, Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley


Readers will delight in the new pathways to Anzaldúan thought thanks to the work of the editors. Whether coming to Anzaldúan thought for the first time or returning again to a much-treasured Borderlands, the editors’ loving care will enable us all to hear her call—no hay más que cambiar .  . . there’s nothing else to do but change.

— Nancy Tuana, author of Beyond Philosophy: Nietzsche, Foucault, Anzaldúa

The emotional and intellectual impact of the book is disorienting and powerful…all languages are spoken, and survival depends on understanding all modes of thought. In the borderlands new creatures come into being. Anzaldúa celebrates this "new mestiza" in bold, experimental writing.

— The Village Voice


Anzaldúa's pulsating weaving of innovative poetry with sparse informative prose brings us deep into the insider/outsider consciousness of the borderlands; that ancient and contemporary, crashing and blending world that divides and unites America.

— Women’s Review of Books

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Product info:

552 pp  |  Paperback  |  2021  |  8.4 x 0.9 x 5.4 inches  |  ISBN 978-1-879960-95-4

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