Ana Castillo

novelist, poet, essayist, short story writer

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.

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