Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies

Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space

Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies

Latin America Otherwise

More about this series

Book Pages: 288 Illustrations: Published: November 2002

Author: Mary Pat Brady

American Studies, Chicanx and Latinx Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

A train station becomes a police station; lands held sacred by Apaches and Mexicanos are turned into commercial and residential zones; freeway construction hollows out a community; a rancho becomes a retirement community—these are the kinds of spatial transformations that concern Mary Pat Brady in Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies, a book bringing together Chicana feminism, cultural geography, and literary theory to analyze an unusual mix of Chicana texts through the concept of space. Beginning with nineteenth-century short stories and essays and concluding with contemporary fiction, this book reveals how Chicana literature offers a valuable theoretics of space.

The history of the American Southwest in large part entails the transformation of lived, embodied space into zones of police surveillance, warehouse districts, highway interchanges, and shopping malls—a movement that Chicana writers have contested from its inception. Brady examines this long-standing engagement with space, first in the work of early newspaper essayists and fiction writers who opposed Anglo characterizations of Northern Sonora that were highly detrimental to Mexican Americans, and then in the work of authors who explore border crossing. Through the writing of Sandra Cisneros, Cherríe Moraga, Terri de la Peña, Norma Cantú, Monserrat Fontes, Gloria Anzaldúa, and others, Brady shows how categories such as race, gender, and sexuality are spatially enacted and created—and made to appear natural and unyielding. In a spatial critique of the war on drugs, she reveals how scale—the process by which space is divided, organized, and categorized—has become a crucial tool in the management and policing of the narcotics economy.


“Nowhere does the critical spatial imagination flourish more creatively than in Chicana literature. And nowhere is it more effectively expressed than in Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies. With her own sense of political and cultural urgency, Mary Pat Brady explores the multiple spatial and sexual borderlands of Chicana life, opening up a passionate and transgressive geography that sizzles with insight.” — Edward W. Soja, author of Postmetropolis: Critical Studies of Cities and Regions

"Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies is an outstanding work that reveals the connection between Chicana bodies, literary texts, and geopolitical space. It offers a conceptual framework based on theories of spatialization that provide a greater understanding of what Chicana writing does and why it is significant to our understanding of contemporary U.S. culture. Nobody else does what Mary Pat Brady does so well here." — Rafael Pérez-Torres, author of Movements in Chicano Poetry: Against Myths, Against Margins

”An important contribution to literary studies and spacial critique. In a masterful weave of spatial memories, Extinct Lands and Temporal Geographies unravels the contested national imagery of la frontera.” — Mary Romero, coeditor of Latino/a Popular Culture


Availability: Not in Stock
Price: $26.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Mary Pat Brady is Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University.

Table of Contents Back to Top


1. Razing Arizona

2. Double-Crossing la Frontera Nómada

3. Intermarginalia: Chicana/a Spatiality and Sexuality in the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa and Terri de la Peña

4. Sandra Cisneros’s Contrapuntal “Geography of Scars”

5. “Against the Nostalgia for the Whole and the One”: Cherrie Moraga, Aztlán, and the Spatiality of Memory

6. “War Again, or Somesuch”: Narrating the Scale and Scope of Narcospatiality

Conclusion: Spelunking through the Interstices



Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing

Winner, MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies

Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2974-9 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-3005-9
Publicity material