Bless Me, Ultima
by Rudolfo Anaya
With exquisite prose and wondrous storytelling, this coming of age classic follows a young boy as he questions his faith and beliefs in family, religion, and other aspects of his Chicano culture. Antonio Marezis 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 mythic 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.
Rudolfo Anaya was the professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico until his retirement in 1993. He has won numerous literary awards: the Premio Quinto Sol National Chicano literary award, the 2007 Notable New Mexican Award, and the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction for his novel Alburquerque. He is best loved for his classic bestseller Bless Me, Ultima. His other works include Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall, Jalamanta, Tortuga, Heart of Aztlan, and The Anaya Reader. He has also written numerous short stories, essays, and children's books, including The Farolitos of Christmas and Maya's Children.