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Guide to the Sheila Ortiz-Taylor Papers CEMA 13
CEMA 13  
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Collection Overview
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The Sheila Ortiz-Taylor collection contains material relating primarily to her work as a writer and a teacher. The collection takes up four linear feet and is continually being added to by Ortiz-Taylor, as her work as a scholar and writer continues. Most of the material in the collection focuses specifically on her novels and includes her drafts of these novels, many of them annotated for correction. The scope of the manuscript, as well as the notes on revisions to be made, are invaluable as they illuminate her method and style during the writing process. The collection contains samples of Ortiz-Taylor's writing from her work as a university student, and later, to her recognition as a noted and critically acclaimed novelist. Because of this comprehensive sampling of her work, the collection gives valuable insight into Ortiz-Taylor's growth as an icon of Chicana writing.
Sheila Ortiz-Taylor is a critically acclaimed Chicana novelist, poet and lecturer, and winner of the Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award (1997). Born in Los Angeles in 1939, Ortiz-Taylor began writing poetry and plays as early as junior high school. She says of her upbringing: "Daughters of a tap dancer and a yo-yo painter, my sister and I were sitting ducks for the muses, who handed her a paint set and me three yellow pencils." Upon graduation from high school, Ortiz-Taylor enrolled at UCLA where she completed one year as an English Major with a Spanish Minor. The following year, in 1958, She was married and relocated to Iowa where she worked as a nurse's aid with handicapped children and as a secretary. She returned to Los Angeles and enrolled again as a sophomore in 1960 where she won the Mabel Wilson Richards Fellowship. In 1961, she transferred to California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with a Bachelors degree in English, (Cum Laude), and was named Outstanding Student of Language and Literature in 1963. After a summer of travel in Europe, Ortiz-Taylor returned to UCLA where she eventually received her M.A. in 1964 and her Ph.D. in 1972.
4.0 linear feet 9 boxes
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