Anaya, Rudolfo (1937–)

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Anaya, Rudolfo (1937–)

One of the fathers of Chicano literature, the novelist, short story writer, and poet Rudolfo Alfonso Anaya was born on October 30, 1937, in Pastura, New Mexico. He received BA and MA degrees in English from the University of New Mexico (1963, 1968), where he began teaching in 1974 and retired as professor emeritus in 1993. Like many Chicano authors, he encountered difficulties finding a publisher for his first novel, owing mainly to his use of both Spanish and English. Yet when Bless Me, Ultima was finally published in 1972, it was awarded the Premio Quinto Sol and became a classic of Chicano literature. Partly autobiographical, set in 1940s New Mexico, this coming-of-age story depicts Mexican-American rural Southwest experience. It was translated into Spanish by Alicia Smithers as Bendíceme, Ùltima, published by Warner Books in 1994.

Anaya is also known for the novels Heart of Aztlán (1976), Tortuga (1979), and Alburquerque (1992; spelled with an extra r as in the original Spanish), as well as the Sonny Baca mysteries; and his short story collection The Silence of the Llano (1982), among other writings. He is the recipient of many awards, including two NEA fellowships (1979, 1980), the Before Columbus American Book Award (1980), the PEN-Center West Award for Fiction (1992); the National Medal of the Arts (2002), and the Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature (2004). Anaya's manuscript collection is located at Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico.

See alsoHispanics in the United States; Literature: Spanish America.



The Adventures of Juan Chicaspatas. Houston, TX: Arte Publico Press, 1985.

Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press, 2000.


As editor. Voces: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicano Writers. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987. A collection of poetry.

The Anaya Reader. New York: Warner Books, 1995.

Children's Books

Mayás Children: The Legend of La Llorona. Illustrations by Maria Baca. Berkeley, CA: Tonatiuh-Quinto Sol, 1984.

Farolitos for Abuelo. New York: Hyperion, 1998.

The Santero's Miracle: A Bilingual Story, illus. Amy Córdova; Spanish trans. Enrique Lamadrid. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.

                                    Claire Joysmith

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Anaya, Rudolfo (1937–)

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