Bless me, Ultima

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Article in Adult Fiction, Big Read, Crossover Fiction, Hispanic, Historical, and Themes categories.

About the Author

Rudolfo Anaya began writing while working as a public school teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Following rejection by many publishers, Bless Me, Ultima was published in 1972 by El Grito, and he then went on to teach English Literature at the University of New Mexico. Following his retirement from the University, he has published the Sonny Baca mystery novels and a number of children's books.

The events in Bless Me, Ultima are drawn from his own experiences. He recorded further experiences in The Heart of Aztlan and Tortuga, which form a trilogy of fictionalized memoirs.

Rudolfo Anaya biography and interview: Bless Me, Ultima Reader's Guide

Other Works by Rudolfo Anaya

Anaya told reporters that this was the hardest book for him to write, recounting his experiences in a hospital following a serious swimming accident which also formed the basis for Florence's death in Bless Me, Ultima.

Anaya's Books for Children

Latino Writers of the United States - Bibliography

Adult Fiction By Latin American Writers of the United States A Selection

Acevedo, Chantel. “Love and ghost letters.”

Alvarez, Julia. “Before we were free.” “Finding Miracles.” “How the Garcia girls lost their accents.” “How Tía Lola came to stay.” “How Tía Lola ended up starting over.” “How Tía Lola saved the summer.” “In the name of Salomé.” “In the time of the butterflies.” “Saving the world.”

Anaya, Rudolfo A. “Bless me, Ultima.” “Heart of Aztlan.” “Randy Lopez goes home.” “Tortuga.” “Zia Summer.”

Baca, Jimmy Santiago. “A place to stand: the making of a poet.”

Castillo, Ana. “The guardians.” “Peel my love like an onion.”

Chávez, Denise. “Face of an angel.” “Loving Pedro Infante.” Cisneros, Sandra. “Carmelo, o, Puro Cuento.” “Hairs = Pelitos.” “The house on Mango Street.” “Woman hollering creek, and other stories.”

Díaz, Junot. “The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao.”

García, Cristina. “The Aguero sisters.” “Dreaming in Cuban.” “Dreams of significant girls.” “A handbook to luck.” “The lady matador's hotel.”

Gilb, Dagoberto. “The flowers.”

Goldman, Francisco. “The divine husband.” “The long night of white chickens.” “Say her name.”

Hijuelos, Oscar. “Beautiful María of my soul, or, the true story of María García y Cifuentes, the lady behind a famous song.” “Empress of the splendid season.” “The mambo kings play songs of love.” “Mr. Ives' Christmas.” “A simple Habana melody (from when the world was good).” “Thoughts without cigarettes: a memoir.”

López, Lorraine. “The realm of hungry spirits.”

Martinez, Nina Marie. “Caramba! : a tale told in turns of the card.”

Martinez, Victor. “Parrot in the oven : mi vida.”

Menéndez, Ana. “In Cuba I was a German shepherd.” “The last war.”

Muñoz, Manuel. “The faith healer of Olive Avenue.” “What you see in the dark.”

Pineda, Cecile. “The love queen of the Amazon.”

Rechy, John. “The coming of the night.” “The life and adventures of Lyle Clemens.” “The miraculous day of Amalia Gomez.”

Rodriguez, Abraham. “Spidertown.”

Tobar, Héctor. “The barbarian nurseries.”

Urrea, Luis Alberto. “The hummingbird's daughter.” "In search of snow." “Into the beautiful North.” “Queen of America.”

Vega Yunqué, Edgardo. “No matter how much you promise to cook or pay the rent you blew it cauze Bill Bailey ain’t never coming home again.”

Bestsellers in the 1940's

1942 Lloyd C. Douglas, The Robe

1942 Franz Werfel, Song of Bernadette

Related Reading

New Mexican Stories

Chicano/a Writers

Magical Realism

Coming of Age

Movies Related to Bless Me, Ultima

Frederic March and Dana Andrews star in a story of World War II veterans adjusting to life in the small town which had not changed along with them.
Magical realism, from the director of Amelie
Things go awry when a Chinese girl living in Vancouver uses magic to help her mother.
Though set in Maori New Zealand with a young girl as protagonist, the novel and the film based upon it echo the themes of coming of age, family traditions, and mystical understanding of the natural world in Bless Me, Ultima.