Posted on 07/01/2020 at 03:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Rudolfo Anaya, a leading figure in Chicano literature, has died at the age of eighty-two.

Anaya’s best-known novel, Bless Me, Ultima, came to him in the early 1960s, but its mix of Spanish and English led major publishers to pass on it, reports NPR.

But once a small press released it in 1972, its effects were felt around the nation.

Colleges and universities rushed to invite Anaya to speak — he even started a creative writing program at the University of New Mexico — while some school districts sought to ban Ultima for its non-Christian spirituality, sexuality, violence, and explicit language.

The author, of course, got the last laugh: the book was adapted into a movie, became the bestselling Chicano novel of all time, and landed on PBS's 100 Great American Reads; and he also received a National Humanities Medal in 2016

Read more about Anaya, who passed away Sunday, in NPR’s obituary.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Diversity, NPR, Obituary

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