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All the Agents and SaintsDispatches from the U.S. Borderlands$
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Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469631592

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469631592.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue Nepantla
All the Agents and Saints

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

University of North Carolina Press

After a decade of nomadism, the author returns home to her native South Texas and discovers her homeland has turned into a death valley in her absence, poisoned by petrochemical industries, ravaged by the drug war, and soon to be barricaded by a steel wall. The concept of “nepantla” is introduced as the way Aztecs described their struggle to reconcile their indigenous ways with the one Spanish colonizers forced upon them in the sixteenth century. More recently, Tejana writer Gloria Anzaldua described nepantla as a metaphor for a “birthing stage where you feel like you’re reconfiguring your identity and don’t know where you are.”

Keywords:   Nepantla, South Texas, Tejano, Corpus Christi, Texas, Chicana/o identity, borderland, King Ranch, Gloria Anzaldua, undocumented worker, border wall

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