Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rudolfo Anaya (1937-2020)

I went to part of high school in New Mexico, and as is common with different states in the US, high school literature courses often include a unit on the state literature. And the New Mexican literary work that I remember reading was Rudolfo Anaya's Bless Me, Ultima. Anaya was born outside Santa Rosa in Guadalupe County (sort of in the middle of the state in the llano, the desert flats) to a ranching family. He got his degree at UNM in Albuquerque. Bless Me, Ultima, his major work and his first novel, barely got into publication; publishers didn't a think a book written in English but with a lot of Spanish would sell. Eventually it was bought by an independent publishing house. It's a very interesting book. There was a movie based on it that came out a few years back; I saw it but don't remember much about it beyond the fact that I thought it was OK, but only OK. The book itself, though, is quite interesting.

In any case, Rudolfo Anaya apparently died on Sunday. Somewhere -- I have no idea where -- I have my old copy of Bless Me, Ultima, and will perhaps have to do it as a fortnightly book later this year.