Biography of Ana Castillo
Ana Castillo (born 15 June 1953) is a Mexican-American Chicana novelist, poet, short story writer, and essayist.
Castillo was born and raised in an inner city barrio of Chicago, Illinois. After completing undergraduate studies, she immediately began teaching college courses. She earned her Master's degree in Latin American and Caribbean studies from the University of Chicago with a thesis entitled "The Idealization and Reality of the Mexican Indian Woman". She received her doctorate from the University of Bremen, Germany, in American studies in 1991. In lieu of a traditional dissertation, she submitted the essays later collected in her highly acclaimed work Massacre of the Dreamers.
Castillo writes about Chicana feminism, which she dubs "Xicanisma", and her work centers on issues of identity, racism, and classism. Many of her protagonists are fiercely independent, sometimes lesbian, women. Her "imaginative fiction" shows the influence of magical realism. For example, the novel Sapogonia is about a fictional country that is the home to all mestizos. Much of her work has been translated into Spanish. She has also contributed articles and essays to such publications as the Los Angeles Times and Salon.
Her papers are housed at the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives at the University of California, Santa Barbara.