“Bless Me, Ultima” repeatedly drew the ire of censors, who cited what they viewed as foul language and anti-Catholic messaging… The book was banned in California, Colorado and… New Mexico. In 1981, the school board in Bloomfield, N.M., burned copies of “Bless Me, Ultima,” according to a news report in The Albuquerque Journal… In 2012, the state of Arizona forced teachers in Tucson to ban the book and dismantle Mexican-American studies programs, part of a nativist push to curb immigration and limit the influence of Latinos….
… “Bless Me, Ultima” endured as Mr. Anaya’s best-known book, adapted into a play, an opera and a 2013 feature film… Mr. Anaya followed “Bless Me, Ultima” with “Heart of Aztlán” (1976) and “Tortuga” (1979), completing a trilogy about Chicano identity and empowerment.
He also wrote a mystery series featuring the Chicano detective Sonny Baca; children’s books including “Farolitos for Abuelo” (1998); travel chronicles like “A Chicano in China” (1986); and story collections including “The Silence of the Llano” (1982).
(Simon Romero, “Rudolfo Anaya, a Father of Chicano Literature, Dies at 82,” NYTimes, 7-3-20)
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