Ana Castillo

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Ana Castillo in 2006

Ana Castillo (June 15, 1953) is a Chicana novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar.


  • As disturbing as some of us may find it there seems to be some evidence that the age men are most attracted to is a young teen, 13 to be specific. Women especially are subjected to ageism. Once she is past her twenties, I think a lot of women, let’s say in contemporary Western culture, still fear losing their sexual appeal, i.e., their worth as women…
  • It is the nature of all living creatures, including Homo sapiens, I believe, to adapt to a place where they may survive. If that is something we as social beings called home then home it is for my main character in The Guardians, Regina who has plunked down hard earned pennies on a cachito of terreno where she can survive, plants some vegetables to live from, etc.
  • …But as far as the novel makes reference to that, Miguel seems to be willing to concede to the mother’s care more than enforce macho authority over the sickly boy. Miguel is a man of the new millennia. He listens to what his significant other opines. As an educated individual, he also turns to literature for answers. He reflects on his failed marriage and tries to learn from it rather than shut down and repeat his mistakes. There is a deep desire to find spiritual and romantic fulfillment. He’s willing to find new ways to do that within the constrictions of society’s patriarchal institutions.
  • … In terms of Latino communities generally speaking, I don’t think women’s (and gay) sexual identities are more than simply tolerated outside the heterosexual one. But I do believe there is change taking place there, too. These are my observations and most definitely have no empirical basis. I do believe that straight men, regardless of age or background, because times are changing, are becoming more accepting of the variations of binary gender constricts.
  • “Black Dove” [“Paloma Negra”] is a mariachi song, and we Mexicans love our mariachis; we'd go celebrate Mother's Day or a birthday or something and ask for a song that brings a great deal of sentimental feeling to us individually or the table. That's how I feel with "Black Dove." In the book I explain that it's a song that my mother actually sang as I left home as a young woman. My mother was very traditional, and in her mind, the way a girl leaves home is through marriage—me going out with my little satchel was not how they imagined it. They imagined the worst, that I was going to end up in a cabaret as one of those that dances for a few fellas.
  • …I always tell people that you have to write what's tearing at your heart, what you need to resolve. I thought it was time to walk my talk. How was I going to write about parts of my life and not write about what really was motivating some of my behavior? I've written long enough to know where the boundaries are.


  • anyone who says the artists and writers they study don’t influence them, directly or unconsciously, isn’t being honest.
  • We think that language is only an aesthetic choice or a matter of personal expression, but for Mexicans and the people in the U.S. who share that history, suppression of our culture is political. This is the reason I choose the language/s I choose, and when.
  • We can’t assume who speaks what language in these times.
  • I continue with the agenda I had as a girl, writing to fill in the blanks, spaces, silences and outright lies regarding POC, specifically Latino/a/Chicana/os/Chicanx when and how I am able to do so.
  • I made a commitment a half century ago to make my writing my own tool and weapon to fight injustices as I recognized them, and this continues. I am grateful to the gods for it.

Interview (2014)[edit]

  • We all participate in patriarchal patterns.
  • a world-class psychologist and writer known for her themes on women...Since Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola-Éstes has become known for her empowerment of women through the use of the very mythology that has been long used to dismiss women in society.
  • In Lak Ech/tu eres mi otro yo–teaches about the ‘other’ and that we are all each other’s reflection.

Massacre Of The Dreamers: Essays On Xicanisma (1994)[edit]

  • according to las feministas, feminism was "a very dynamic aspect of the Chicana's heritage and not at all foreign to her nature."" Contrary to ethnographic data that portrays Chicanas as submissive followers who are solely designated to preserve the culture, the feminists did not see herself or other women of her culture as such. While the feminist dialogue remained among the activists in el Movimiento, one sees in Encuentro Femenil that there indeed existed a solid initiative toward Chicana feminist thought, that is, recognition of sexism as a primary early on as the late 1960s. Clarifying the differences between the needs of the Anglo feminist and the feministas was part of the early feminista's tasks.
  • The feminista also wanted a bicultural and bilingual child care that would validate their children's culture and perhaps ward off an inferiority complex before they had a chance to start public school; traditionally, monolingual and anglocentric schools had alienated children, causing them great psychological damage.
  • The early feminista understood the erroneous conceptions of the white woman's movement that equated sexism to racism because she was experiencing its compounding effects in her daily life.

Quotes about Ana Castillo[edit]

  • Chicanas share a topography of multiple identities, and definitions of Chicana feminism remain contested. Instead of feminism per se, Ana Castillo calls for a mestiza consciousness or Xicanisma, an uncompromising commitment to social justice rooted in a woman-centered, indigenous past. Again with her global vision, Anzaldúa's construction of "the new mestiza" encompasses all women of color. In the preface to Making Face, Making Soul, she holds out a message of hope. "We are continuing in the direction of honoring others' ways, of sharing knowledge and personal power through writing (art) and activism, of injecting into our cultures new ways, feminist ways, mestiza ways."
    • Vicki L. Ruiz, From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America

External links[edit]

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