October 30, 1937
Pastura, New Mexico
|Notable work(s)||Bless Me, Ultima
|Notable award(s)||American Book Award; Quinto Sol; National Medal of Arts|
Rudolfo Anaya (born October 30, 1937) is an American author. Best known for his 1972 novel Bless Me, Ultima, Anaya is considered one of the founders of the canon of contemporary Chicano literature.
Rudolfo Alfonso Anaya was born in the rural village of Pastura, New Mexico, to Martin and Rafaelita Anaya. He was raised in the nearby town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His father was a vaquero from a family of cattle workers and sheepherders. His mother’s family was composed of farmers from Puerto De Luna in the Pecos Valley of New Mexico. Anaya grew up with two half-brothers, from his mother’s previous marriage, and four sisters. The beauty of the desert flatlands of New Mexico, referenced as the llano in Anaya's writings, had a profound influence on his early childhood.
Anaya’s family relocated from rural New Mexico to Albuquerque in 1952, when he was in the eighth grade. He attended Albuquerque High School, graduating in 1956. When he was sixteen, Anaya was hospitalized following a diving accident in which he fractured two neck vertebrae. This experience later appeared as an autobiographical allusion in his novel Tortuga. Following high school, he earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of New Mexico in 1963. He went on to complete two master’s degrees at the University of New Mexico, one in 1968 for English and another in 1972 for guidance and counseling. While earning his master's degrees, Anaya worked as a high school English teacher in the Albuquerque public schools from 1963 until 1968. In 1966, he married Patricia Lawless, who continues to support his writing.
He began writing Bless Me, Ultima in 1963, with the manuscript completed and published by Quinto Sol in 1972. Initially, Anaya faced tremendous difficulty getting his work published by mainstream publishing houses because of its unique combination of English and Spanish language, as well as its Chicano-centric content. Independent publishing house Quinto Sol quickly published the book after awarding it the Premio Quinto Sol in 1971 for best novel written by a Chicano. The book went on to sell over 300,000 copies in 21 printings. Following the book's success, Anaya was invited to join the English faculty at the University of New Mexico, where he taught until his retirement in 1993. Anaya also traveled extensively through both China in 1984, and South America following his retirement. His experiences in China are chronicled in his travel journal, A Chicano in China, published in 1986. During the 90's, Anaya found an even wider audience as mainstream publishing house Warner books signed him on for a six-book deal beginning with his novel Alburquerque, and including subsequent novels Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall, Jalamanta: A Message from the Dessert, Shaman Winter, and The Anaya Reader, a collection of his works.
Bless Me, Ultima was released as a full-length film on February 22, 2013. Anaya has recently published a number of books for children and young adults. His first children's book was titled The Farolitos of Christmas, and was published in 1995. He currently resides in Albuquerque with his wife, and spends several hours daily writing.
- Bless Me, Ultima (1972), ISBN 0-446-67536-9
- Heart of Aztlan (1976), ISBN 0-915808-18-8
- Tortuga (1979), ISBN 0-915808-34-X
- Silence of the Llano: Short Stories (1982), ISBN 0-89229-009-9
- The Legend of La Llorona: A Short Novel (1984), ISBN 0-89229-015-3
- Lord of the Dawn: the Legend of Quetzalcóatl (1987), ISBN 0-8263-1001-X
- Alburquerque (1992), ISBN 0-8263-1359-0
- Jalamanta: A Message from the Desert (1996), ISBN 0-446-52024-1
- Serafina's Stories (2004), ISBN 0-8263-3569-1
- The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories (2006), ISBN 0-8061-3738-X
- Randy Lopez Goes Home: A Novel (Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Americas Series) (2011), ISBN 0806141891
- "The Old Man's Love Story" (Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Americas series) (2013) ISBN 0806143576
Sonny Baca series
- Zia Summer (1995), ISBN 0-446-51843-3
- Rio Grande Fall (1996), ISBN 0-446-51844-1
- Shaman Winter (1999), ISBN 0-446-52374-7
- Jemez Spring (2005), ISBN 0-8263-3684-1
Books for children
- The Farolitos of Christmas: A New Mexico Christmas Story (1987), ISBN 0-937206-05-9
- Maya's Children: The Story of La Llorona (1996), illustrated by Maria Baca, ISBN 0-7868-0152-2
- Farolitos for Abuelo (1998), illustrated by Edward Gonzalez, ISBN 0-7868-0237-5
- My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande (1999), illustrated by Amy Córdova, ISBN 0-688-15078-0
- Elegy on the Death of César Chávez (2000), illustrated by Gaspar Enriquez, ISBN 0-938317-51-2
- Roadrunner's Dance (2000), illustrated by David Diaz, ISBN 0-7868-0254-5
- The Santero's Miracle: A Bilingual Story (2004), illustrated by Amy Córdova, Spanish translation by Enrique Lamadrid, ISBN 0-8263-2847-4
- The Curse of the ChupaCabra (2006), ISBN 0-8263-4114-4
- The First Tortilla (2007), illustrated by Amy Córdova, Spanish translation by Enrique Lamadrid, ISBN 0-8263-4214-0
- ChupaCabra and the Roswell UFO (2008), ISBN 0-8263-4469-0
Non-fiction and Anthologies
- Voices from the Rio Grande: Selections from the First Rio Grande Writers Conference (1976)
- Cuentos: Tales from the Hispanic Southwest (1980), with Jose Griego y Maestas, ISBN 0-89013-111-2
- A Ceremony of Brotherhood, 1680-1980 (1981), edited with Simon J. Ortiz
- Cuentos Chicanos: A Short Story Anthology (rev. ed. 1984), edited with Antonio Márquez, ISBN 0-8263-0772-8
- A Chicano in China (1986), ISBN 0-8263-0888-0
- Voces: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicano Writers (1987, 1988), editor, ISBN 0-8263-1040-0
- Aztlán: Essays on the Chicano Homeland (1989), edited with Francisco A. Lamelí, ISBN 0-929820-01-0
- Tierra: Contemporary Short Fiction of New Mexico (1989), editor, ISBN 0-938317-09-1
- Flow of the River (2nd ed. 1992), ISBN 0-944725-00-7
- Descansos: An Interrupted Journey (1995), with Denise Chávez and Juan Estevan Arellano, ISBN 0-929820-06-1
- Muy Macho: Latino Men Confront Their Manhood, edited and introduction by Ray Gonzales, ISBN 0-385-47861-5
- Chicano/a Studies: Writing into the Future (1998), edited with Robert Con Davis-Undiano
- Adventures of Juan Chicaspatas (1985), ISBN 0-934770-45-X
Published or Performed Plays
- The Season of La Llorona
- Ay, Compadre! (1994)
- The Farolitos of Christmas (1987)
- Matachines (1992)
- Billy the Kid (1995)
- Who Killed Don Jose? (1995)
Awards and honors
- Premio Quinto Sol literary award, for Bless Me, Ultima, 1970
- NM Governor's Public Service Award, 1978, 1980
- Natl Chicano Council on Higher Education fellowship, 1978–79
- NEA fellowships, 1979, 1980
- American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, for Tortuga, 1980
- D.H.L., Univ. of Albuquerque, 1981
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting script development award, for "Rosa Linda," 1982
- Award for Achievement in Chicano Literature, Hispanic Caucus of Teachers of English, 1983
- Kellogg Foundation fellowship, 1983–85
- D.H.L., Marycrest Coll., 1984
- Mexican Medal of Friendship, Mexican Consulate of Albuquerque, 1986
- PEN-West Fiction Award, 1992, for Alburquerque.
- NEA National Medal of Arts Lifetime Honor, 2001 NEA National Medal of Arts webpage
- Outstanding Latino/a Cultural Award in Literary Arts or Publications, AAHHE, 2003
- People's Choice Award, 2007 New Mexico Book Awards
- Notable New Mexican 2007 (http://www.albuquerquemuseum.com/pages/nnm.html)
- Robert Kirsch Award 2011
- Cesar A. Gonzales-T., The Ritual and Myth of Experience in the Works of Rudolfo A. Anaya, published in A Sense of Place: Rudolfo A. Anaya: An Annotated Bio-Bibliography (2000).
- Fernandez Olmos, Margarite. "The Life of Rudolfo A. Anaya." Rudolfo A. Anaya: A Critical Companion. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood, 1999. ABC-CLIO eBook Collection. Web. 20 Feb 2013.
- Con Davis-Undiano, Robert. "Author profile: Rudolfo A. Anaya." World Literature Today 79.3-4 (2005): 88. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
- Clark, William. "Rudolfo Anaya: 'the Chicano worldview.'(Interview)." Publishers Weekly 5 June 1995: 41+. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
- Clark, William. "The mainstream discovers Rudolfo Anaya." Publishers Weekly 21 Mar. 1994: 24. Academic OneFile. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
- Author Bio at Gale
- Inventory of the Rudolfo A. Anaya Papers, 1960-2004, University of New Mexico, University Libraries, Center for Southwest Research