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Anzaldúa introduces her book by explaining its multi-layered focus and inviting readers to participate in her literary desires. Reflecting on her own experiences and struggles as a dedicated artist, the author calls for a new aesthetics, an entirely embodied artistic practice that synthesizes identity formation both with cultural change and with shifts among multiple realities. She interweaves theory with practice to define writing as “gestures of the body;” offers an overview of her aesthetics; introduces her genre theories of autohistoria and autohistoria-teoría; expands previous definitions of nepantla to include an aesthetic dimension; and posits the imagination as an intellectual-spiritual faculty. This introduction demonstrates Anzaldúa’s aspiration to evoke healing and transformation; to go beyond representation by using words, images, and theories which stimulate, create, and in other ways facilitate radical physical-psychic change in herself, her readers, and the various worlds in which we exist and to which we aspire.

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