Border Women: Writing from La Frontera

Border Women: Writing from La Frontera

Border Women: Writing from La Frontera

Border Women: Writing from La Frontera

Synopsis

A transnational analysis with an emphasis on gender examines the work of women writers from both sides of the border writing in Spanish, English, or a mixture of the two languages whose work questions the accepted notions of border identities.

Excerpt

Very few places have been subjected to as much verbal abuse as the border
between the United States and Mexico.

—Rolando J. Romero, “Border of Fear, Border of Desire”

In a recent essay, Etienne Balibar comments that he first became aware of the equivocal and vacillating nature of borders during an afternoon of beer and chocolate with a fisherman from Pátzcuaro. Borders, the French philosopher learned, do not always work in the same way, and people bring different baggage with them when they cross. The man explained to Balibar why his attempts to cross the border into the United States always met with failure:

because, he told me, “there is a letter missing” in Tarasca (his maternal
language); “hace falta una letra, entiendes amigo.” This letter, lost from
time immemorial, can never be recovered. And this letter is the one you
have to have to cross the northern border.

Balibar goes on to comment that this impossible recuperation of the missing letter, and with it the ability to cross into the United States, is nonreciprocal:

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