In this episode, we’ll discuss the life and work of Rudolfo Anaya. A writer powerfully attuned to the land, history, and people of his native New Mexico, Anaya is often viewed as one of the founders of contemporary Chicano literature. “What I’ve wanted to do,” Anaya reflected, “is compose the Chicano worldview…and clarify it for my community and myself.” In doing so, over the course of a remarkable and acclaimed literary career, Anaya redefined the American experience for generations of readers.
Today we are joined by Luis Alberto Urrea, the editor of a new collection of Anaya’s work from the Library of America. Urrea is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and memoirist who is currently Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. His numerous prizes and awards include a Lannan Literary Award, a Christopher Award, an American Book Award, the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Literary Award, a Western States Book Award, a Colorado Book Award, an Edgar Award, and a citation of excellence from the American Library Association. His most recent works are Good Night, Irene and Zebras in Tijuana.
Luis is interviewed by Nate King, Digital Content Associate at the American Writers Museum.