A short story
by Ana Castillo
, told in the form of letters between two sister
s. The story attempts to illustrate issues of racism
in the cultural environs of southwestern America
. Her messages are similar to those of Sandra Cisneros
and Denise Chávez
, rebelling against the sexual subjugation
of women and ignorant patriarchy
, and generally strongly feminist
"The Mix" is less about racism than about the concept of sexual warfare. Castillo seems to harbor a great deal of bitterness for what she sees as the plight of Mexican-American (Hispanic/Chicana/etc) women in southwest America and northern Mexico. Castillo's work contains no male characters with any redeeming qualities.
Noteworthy about The Mixquiahuala Letters is its organization. The letters are numbered, and a short "Letter to the Reader" at the beginning of the book gives three ways of reading it: "For the Conformist...", "For the Cynic..." and "For the Quixotic." I found nothing quixotic about any of the approaches, however.
Also, from her introduction: "For the reader committed to nothing but short fiction, all the letters read as separate entities. Good luck whichever journey you choose!". It is also worth noting that, in each approach to the book that she designates, certain letters are put out of order or skipped entirely. Letter #1, for instance, only appears in the Quixotic list. Reading all of the letters in order (like you're not supposed to) produces a cynical (but somewhat disjointed) experience; this is the default, I imagine. I think it would be difficult to draw anything from the letters but rage.