María Amparo Ruiz de Burton (July 3, 1832 – August 12, 1895) was the first female Mexican-American author to write in English. In her career she published two books: Who Would Have Thought It? (1872) and The Squatter and the Don (1885); and one play: Don Quixote de la Mancha: A Comedy in Five Acts: Taken From Cervantes’ Novel of That Name (1876).
Ruiz de Burton’s work is considered to be a precursor to Chicano literature, giving the perspective of the conquered Mexican population that, despite being granted full rights of citizenship by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, was a subordinated and marginalized national minority. Her background provided her a critical distance from the New England Protestant culture into which she was brought by her marriage to her husband, a powerful and influential Protestant Union Army General. Her life took her from coast to coast in the United States, which provided her with opportunity for first-hand observation of the U.S., its westward expansion, the American Civil War, and its aftermath. This vantage point and her status as a woman provided her with both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective on issues of ethnicity, power, gender, class, and race. (from Wikipedia).