‘Dean’ of Hispanic Writers Donates Papers to University of New Mexico
Albuquerque author Rudolfo Anaya, known as the “dean” of Hispanic writers, has decided to donate his papers to the University of New Mexico.
“I’m a UNM grad. I taught there. I just think that’s where they belong,” said Anaya, professor emeritus in the school’s English department.
Anaya, whose best known novel is Bless Me Ultima, has written mysteries, plays, essays and books for young readers. He has two books coming out later this year from UNM Press — a children’s picture book and his translation from Spanish of 12 stories from New Mexico’s Hispanic oral tradition.
UNM’s dean of library services, Camila Alire, showed interest in having his papers at the university’s Center for Southwest Research at Zimmerman Library, Anaya said. He said library officials took him to lunch and told him, “We’d love to have the papers and (we’ll) take good care of them.”
Another key to his decision was Teresa Marquez, a longtime friend and colleague who selects Southwestern literature for the center and various academic departments, and is curator for Chicano and Chicana Studies.
“I saw the value of his work and the need to keep his papers in New Mexico. It’s part of New Mexico’s literary history,” Marquez said. So far, Anaya and his wife Pat have donated 11 boxes of papers, including several unpublished manuscripts.
“There’s an interesting history for any scholar, researcher in my progress, from my first attempts at novels,” Anaya said.
The Center for Southwest Research opened an exhibit last month of Anaya’s books, articles, awards and posters promoting his books. “Escrituras y Homenaje: Rudolfo A. Anaya” will be on display through the end of August. Marquez said the exhibit was in part to thank him for the donation and in part to recognize him for being named Scholar of the Year by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies.
— Associated Press
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