Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bless Me, Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima is a 1972 novel by Rudolfo Anaya. It is often-assigned these days, so I hear, but is also often challenged.

from the back of the book:
Exquisite prose and wondrous storytelling have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English. Indeed, Anaya's tales fairly shimmer with the haunting beauty and richness of his culture. The winner of the PEN Center West Award for Fiction for his unforgettable novel, Albuquerque, Anaya is perhaps best loved for his classic bestseller, Bless Me, Ultima...

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past—a mythical legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world... and will nurture the birth of his soul.

Online study guides and discussion questions:
Learner.org has some background information.
The Big Read

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