Rudolfo Anaya

Photo of Rudolfo Anaya

Rudolfo Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano literature, is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. Mr. Anaya was presented with the National Medal of Arts for literature in 2001 by the President of the United States and his novel Alburquerque (the city's original Spanish spelling) won the PEN Center West Award for Fiction.

Interview with the Author, Rudolfo Anaya

How did you get your ideas for The Santeros Miracle?

I love to write Christmas stories. One day I imagined a santero carving a beautiful wood statue of San Ysidro, the patron saint of farmers. In my mind, I saw a big snowstorm cover the village. A sick neighbor cannot get to the hospital. What if San Ysidro can save the neighbor?

Impossible, some will say! Those wood structures called bultos cannot move, but if you believe in miracles, many things are possible. Also, New Mexico has a long tradition of santeros, those who carve saints. The story illustrates this part of the culture of New Mexico.

How long have you been a writer?

I wrote a long book review of a cowboy story when I was in the sixth grade. I even illustrated the review with my drawings. I got an A.

Maybe I thought I could write as well as the author of the story. And I illustrated the review because I loved art. As you can see, I've been writing a long time.

How did you start writing?

My more serious, first attempts at writing took place when I was a student at the University of New Mexico.

I fell in love with literature. I wrote poetry. If I read a sonnet by Shakespeare, I would try writing sonnets. Of course, I could not compare to Shakespeare, but the point is that I learned to write by reading other writers.

What do you like about writing ?

Writing is bliss.

The philosopher said "follow your bliss." What are you passionate about? Really like? Turns you on? That is bliss.

I had to work hard to learn to write, but even the hard work was a joy. Once I started writing I couldn't stop. It was what I was born to do.

Do you have any other thoughts on this book or on writing?

Reading is the most important activity students can do. If you are good at reading, you can do anything.

Reading is not just about getting a job. Although that's important. Reading expands your mind and imagination. Reading brings pleasure. Reading is an education you can do on your own. Reading will also make you a better writer, and there are millions of careers available for those who write well.

Happy reading and writing.

Other books by Rudolfo Anaya

The First Tortilla (2007), illustrated by Amy Cordova, ISBN: 0826342140

Serafina's Stories (2004), ISBN-10: 0826335691

Elegy on the Death of César Chávez (2000), illustrated by Gaspar Enriquez, ISBN 0-938317-51-2

Roadrunner's Dance (2000), illustrated by David Diaz, ISBN 0-7868-0254-5

My Land Sings: Stories from the Rio Grande (1999), illustrated by Amy Córdova, ISBN 0-688-15078-0

Farolitos for Abuelo (1998), illustrated by Edward Gonzales, ISBN 0-7868-0237-5

The Farolitos of Christmas: A New Mexico Christmas Story (1987), ISBN 0-937206-05-9