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Conversations with Rudolfo Anaya

Conversations with Rudolfo Anaya

Edited by Bruce Dick & Silvio Sirias
Series: Literary Conversations Series

Paperback : 9781617037009, 256 pages, March 2013

Interviews with the author of Heart of Aztlan and Bless Me, Ultima


In 1972 Rudolfo Anaya (1937–2020) made a quiet entry into American literature with the publication of Bless Me, Ultima. Over the span of twenty-two years, by word of mouth alone, this first novel sold more than 300,000 copies. It was the first Chicano novel to enter the American literary canon, and it helped identify Abaya as one of the founders of Chicano literature.

In this collection of interviews Anaya talked about his life and about how New Mexico, his home state, influenced his work. The interviews also explore the importance that myths and spiritual matters played in his writings. He shared his intimate knowledge of the long struggle of ethnic writers to gain acceptance by mainstream publishers. Anaya also spoke eloquently and passionately of his faith in Chicano literature and of the politics of “hate, prejudice, and bigotry” that minorities face throughout the United States. Yet he remained consistent in his call for all Americans to understand one another. For many decades he was a tireless agent in the push for multiculturalism and pluralism in America.

Anaya was professor emeritus of English and creative writing at the University of New Mexico. Besides his critically acclaimed novels (Bless Me, Ultima; Heart of Aztlan; Tortuge; Albuquerque; Zia Summer; Rio Grande Fall; and Jalamanata), he wrote plays, poems, essays, short stories, and books for children.