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Bless Me, Ultima Paperback – April 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Besides winning the Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano literary award, this novel of a young boy in New Mexico in the 1940s has sold more than 300,000 copies in paperback since its 1973 debut. Here, however, the book gets the hardcover treatment, with a few illustrations added for color. LJ's reviewer asserted that "the novel has warmth and feeling" (LJ 2/1/73) and a place in all fiction collections, especially those serving Chicano populations.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"One of the nation's foremost Chicano literary artists."―Denver Post --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Just like his other novels ("Heart of Aztlan" and "Tortuga"), Anaya fuses dense word choice with raw emotion. This heavy emotion is created thanks to Anaya's youngest fictional character--seven-year-old Antonio Márez. Anaya's readers explore the land and spiritual customs of New Mexico only through the naive eyes of Antonio. Antonio finds himself stuck in a spiritual/religious conflict. Will he commit to his mother's way of life--living harmoniously with the farm land, or with his father's way of life--living the life of an always moving vaquero?
Every character in Anaya's novel is deeply religious because it is their Hispanic custom. But the custom and belief system of Ultima, a curandera (healer), changes Antonio's life and decisions even more. He now sees even more confliction--the Church versus the healer.
While composing the story line, Anaya writes "Bless Me, Ultima" through the perspective of Antonio. As they read Anaya's novel, readers have to step into the shoes of a young Hispanic boy as they witness every one of Antonio's life and religious uncertainties. Even though Anaya leaves his readers expecting more of a resolution at the end of his novel, Antonio finally realizes that his heritages, although they are very opposite, can be unified.