Chicano/Chicana •  Essays and Cultural Studies

$24.95 paperback

Add to Cart

Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle

Pat Mora

As a Chicana, educator, poet, mother, lecturer, and native of El Paso, Texas, Pat Mora is a denizen of nepantla--a Nahuatl word meaning "land in the middle." In her first collection of essays this award-winning writer negotiates the middle land's many terrains by exploring the personal issues and political responsibilities she faces as a woman of color in the United States. Characterized by a keen sense of community, Nepantla is an important contribution to the growing body of Chicano nonfiction.

Mora explores the issues of cultural preservation--preservation of her own Mexican American culture as a source for her creativity and for her sense of self. She then remembers her encounters with other cultures, which have taught her both to appreciate and to spotlight the stunning riches and injustices of her own country. Mora's insights on bilingualism, education, women, and family are sometimes barbed and always exact. Sprinkled like blossoms on a springtime cholla, excerpts from Mora's own poems crystallize her thoughts and insights into unforgettable images.


Santa Fe poet Pat Mora, author of nonfiction and children's books, has received numerous writing awards including a poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, a Premio Aztlán Literature Award, and a National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. She has also received honorary doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, a lifetime honorary membership from the American Library Association, and a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship. Learn more about Pat Mora at


"Twenty inspiring essays written in a very poetic prose. . . . Mora writes vividly and imaginatively. . . . A valuable contribution to American literature in general and to Chicano or Mexican-American letters."



"Mora's voice is a welcomed addition to the growing chorus of Latina writers . . . should reward anyone who appreciates the interesting, well-written essays."



"These uplifting, mainly feminist essays will long be used to represent and understand the concerns of Latinas and will be known as a sign that the Southwest has reached the Midwest--the Heartland-- Nepantla."


Southwestern American Literature

". . . this collection could be useful for educators and serve as a source of encouragement to others who, like the author, consider themselves 'in the middle.' Recommended for multicultural collections."


Library Journal

5.5 x 9 in. 192 pages