Books About New Mexico and/or by New Mexicans.
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NOVELIST, POET, PLAYWRIGHT & PROFESSOR
Rudolfo Anaya was born and raised in Santa Rosa, New Mexico. His father, Martín Anaya, was a vaquero from a family of cattle workers and sheepherders. His mother, Rafaelita (Mares), was from Puerto De Luna in the Pecos Valley. Anaya's family relocated from rural New Mexico to Albuquerque in 1952 and he graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1956. After high school, he earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1963. Later, he went on to complete two master's degrees at UNM, 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 1963-1968.
Rudolfo began writing his best-known work Bless Me, Ultima in 1963, with the manuscript completed and published in 1972. Initially Anaya faced tremendous obstacles finding a publishing house, because he wrote using a unique combination of English and Spanish, with distinctly Chicano-centric themes. However, independent publishing house Quinto Sol published the book after awarding it the Premio Quinto Sol in 1971 for best novel written by a Chicano. Bless Me, Ultima went on to sell over 300,000 copies. Following the book's success, Rudolfo Anaya was invited to join the English faculty at the University of New Mexico in 1975. He taught there until he retired in 1993.
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Books About New Mexico
A selection of books about different facets of New Mexico. Titles are drawn from our personal collection, as well as suggestions provided by followers of New Mexico Nomad online.