Friday, March 28, 2008

Bless Me, Utlima by Rudolfo Anaya

A quick read.

Not really my cup of tea.

Not to say I disliked it. Just that I find the sort of superstition indulged in by many in this book frustrating.

But even so, the book had many redeeming qualities. For those particularly drawn to literature about the American Southwest, this is a gem.

Google Books says,

Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her guidance, Tony will test the bonds that tie him to his culture, and he will find himself in the secrets of the past. A masterpiece of Chicano literature, this is the emotional, coming-of-age story of a boy facing the conflicts in his life among his Mexican and American heritage, his Catholic religion, and his identity.

I was particularly fascinated by one of Antonio's friends, Florencio and his disaffection with God and religion but felt that there were shades of the tragic mulatto in the fate assigned to Florencio by the author.

I was excited by what I saw as the author's boldness in voicing Florencio and then disappointed by what I saw as the author's cop-out.

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