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Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
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Bless Me, Ultima (1972)

by Rudolfo Anaya

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (110)  Dutch (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
This is a beautifully written coming of age story. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, as it is far outside my comfort zone. I picked it up because it is on PBS’s Great American Read list and is a frequently banned/challenged book.

Longer review on my blog: https://wp.me/pKWKW-4D. ( )
  DGRachel | Apr 2, 2019 |
Chicano classic: a boy grows up
[read 2001-18 yr ago] ( )
  juniperSun | Jan 18, 2019 |
I read this as one of the banned books in the Let’s Talk About It series at the Surfside Library. As a somewhat autobiography of byhe author’s experiences, it is reflective of Hispanic lives in the mid20th century. Unquestioning faith and a coming of age novel mixed with magical realism. Interesting. I will be watching the movie next week. ( )
  bereanna | Jan 13, 2019 |
# 2 of 100 Classics Challenge
Bless Me, Ultima🍒🍒🍒🍒
By Rudolfo Anaya
1972

FANTASTIC!!
Sometimes a book draws you in by its plot. Sometimes by its location. And many times by its characters.
This book drew me in on all 3. I was mesmerized by the journey of Antonio and Ultima. The legend of the curandera, the relationship between Antonio and Ultima.....what a fantastic look at chicano/ mexican culture and beliefs....Loved it! ( )
  over.the.edge | Sep 24, 2018 |
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 wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world...and will nurture the birth of his soul.
  Lake_Oswego_UCC | Jul 8, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rudolfo Anayaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ramirez, RobertNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Con Honor Para Mis Padres
First words
Ultima came to stay with us the summer I was almost seven.
Quotations
And that is what Ultima tried to teach me, that the tragic consequences of life can be overcome by the magical strength that resides in the human heart.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the book; do not combine with the film
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Book description
Bless Me, Ultima is about a young boy named Antonio who lives in Guadalupe with his family and an old curandera, Ultima. Antonio was born into a Catholic family. As Antonio grows every day, he learns the ways of good and evil, confussion with religion, the differnce between the Marez side of the family and the Lunas side, and the ways of the river and the earth. Antonio strugles with many friends dieing because of an evil man named Tenorio. Tenorio owns three daughters who are witches. The man seeks revenge for the death of two of his daughters torwards Ultima and Antonio. He calls Ultima the brueja, or witch. This leads to Antonio's confussion with God. "Why hasn't God prevented my friends from dieing? Why did Tenorio det away with killing them? Why are you letting evil get away with out being punished? I have so many questions to ask You, but none are getting answers. Is God still alive, did he even exist?" Antonio wonders.
Cico, one of Antonios friends took him to see the golden carp pass in the river. Cico does not believe in God, but the golden carp as his god. He thinks our God is a jealous god because he does not want us to believe in any other God. Antonio wondered if the golden carp was a god of beauty.
His fathers side, Marez, is all about adventure, the wind, and the llano. The mothers side, Lunas is all about religion, the earth and staying put in one place. Antonio's mom wants him to becone a farmer or a priest, a man of learning. She brings this on Antonio alot. There always seems to be competition between the mom and dad because they are totally two different people. Antonio has a hard time deciding who he wants to be, a Marez or Luna. He finally realizes that he can be both though and learns his destiny that way. As he gets to now Ultima better he learns more of how his future will be.
Antonio goes on a journey with Ultima to help cure his uncle from the curse that one of Tenorio's daughter layed upon him. Antonio had a connection with his uncle and felt everything he felt. He learned the power that Ultima has from the curing of her herbs she uses for medicine. At the end of the story he figures out the connection with Ultima and her owl. The owl is her soul/spirit.
I would recommend this book it makes you think alot and is in depth with many things. The book has many events through each chapter that makes one want to keep reading to find out what happens next!

FROM BACK COVER:

Rudolfo A. Anaya is the winner of the $1,000 Second Annual PREMIO QUINTO SOL national Chicano literary award. Mr. Anaya was born in New Mexico. He attended public schools in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, and was graduated from the University of New Mexico . .

writing his novel, Mr. Anaya has said: "I have been writing for the past ten years. I have written volumes of poems, stories, novels, burned some, saved a few. Out of a suitcase full I have, it seemed that ULTIMA distilled into something worthwhile. Writing is not easy . It is a lonely, and oftentimes unappreciated endeavor. But I had to keep creating, I had to keep trying to organize all the beautiful, chaotic things into some pattern. Writing is never quite learned. I have to rewrite and rewrite each manuscript before I'm satisfied. By the way, my writing is completely self-taught. I have never taken a writing course. It's easy . You just have to sit down and write, write, write, and write . . . hasta que te lleva la madre, y las almorranas."

The illustrations for BLESS ME, ULTIMA are by Dennis Martinez, also a native New Mexican, now residing in Los Angeles, California. He teaches art in the Los Angeles Public Schools.

Cover design : Octavia I. Romano-V.
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Six-year-old Antonio embarks upon a spiritual journey under the watchful guidance of Ultima, a healing woman, that leads him to question his faith and beliefs in family, religion, and other aspects of his Chicano culture.

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