By Margarite Fernandez Olmos
Rudolfo A. Anaya's seven novels can all be considered by way of the Chicano literary culture although their wealthy texts have earned Anaya a spot of admire in mainstream glossy American literature. Fernandez Olmos courses the reader via Anaya's literary international with transparent signposts, illuminating the legendary, cultural, and linguistic complexities of his amazing tales. From his coming of age masterpiece Bless Me, Ultima (1972) to his most up-to-date paintings Shaman iciness (1999) Anaya's writing with its wealthy religious symbolism is introduced all the way down to earth and made available to the scholar reader via Fernandez Olmos's insightful analyses. This paintings devotes a bankruptcy to every novel, permitting Fernandez Olmos to lead the reader via every one, displaying either the styles and adaptations of literary units in Anaya's works, whereas delivering attention-grabbing replacement interpretations of Anaya's writing.
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Additional info for Rudolfo A. Anaya: A Critical Companion
Ultima is a conciliatory force in the novel, guiding Antonio between the extremes of his parents and the myriad other tensions he must attempt to resolve. Respected as ‘‘una mujer que no ha pecado’’ (a woman who has not sinned) she is also feared. Her skills were acquired from a renowned healer, ‘‘the flying man of Las Pasturas,’’ and hence many consider her a bruja. Ultima’s characterization goes beyond the usual expectations regarding gendered roles for men and women because she is a curandera; she is afforded a place in the public world not usually given to women in traditional patriarchal cultures.
Zia Summer (1995) introduces a new character into the Anaya cast, the private detective Sonny Baca (who appears briefly in Alburquerque), a man who by profession must probe for the truth but whose search leads to greater discoveries regarding his racial and regional history and that of his ancestors. He must solve the murder of his cousin, whose body had been drained of blood and etched with the ancient Zia sun symbol by a terrorist group. The story contains elements of New Age cults and ancient rituals combined with political corruption and environmental activism.
Hiding in bushes near the river, Antonio observes them. Despite attempts to sway the group, the men kill Lupito and thereby rouse Antonio’s first doubts of conscience. Issues of right and 32 Rudolfo A. Anaya wrong, guilt and innocence, the concept of God and justice are thoughts that assail his young, impressionable mind. This is the first of four tragic deaths that Antonio will encounter in a brief space of time. Ultima’s influence is felt here too in the presence of her owl, which accompanies Antonio and calms his fears, temporarily dispelling his anxieties.
Rudolfo A. Anaya: A Critical Companion by Margarite Fernandez Olmos