Albuquerque's well-known author and playwright Rudolfo Anaya's play Who Killed Don Jose? combines comedy, political intrigue and romance in a performance that will bring smiles to the whole family.
With only three remaining performances--Friday night at 7pm, and Saturday at 2pm and 7pm--time is running out on your chance to see this playful portrayal of conspiratorial blunder and New Mexican politics featured at the South Broadway Cultural Center (1025 Broadway SE).
In last week’s paper, I interviewed Rudolfo Anaya about censorship. His landmark Chicano novel Bless Me, Ultima was boxed up and put into storage along with a host of other books in Tucson, Ariz. It’s part of a push to do away with ethnic studies programs the education department considers divisive.
New Mexico is no stranger to this conversation. Anaya has on file an article published in 1981 about an attempt in our state Legislature to set standards for schoolbooks. In that article, one state senator is quoted as saying she personally saw to it that copies of Ultima were burned in Bloomfield, N.M.
Tonight the Librotraficante caravan hauling contraband literature from Houston to Arizona will be making a stop in Albuquerque. At 7 p.m., the banned book bash will commence at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW).
Rudolfo Anaya on Mexican-American studies and book burning
By Marisa Demarco
He’s hardly a stranger to censorship. Just inside the doorway of Rudolfo Anaya’s cozy Westside home is a white cardboard box. It’s full of articles documenting instances when his landmark Chicano novel Bless Me, Ultima was suppressed.
Every year in the South Valley a 25-foot-tall bogeyman is burned to cinders. Author Rudolfo Anaya, who helped start the ritual more than 20 years ago, refers to El Kookooee as "an effigy of our own personal and communal fears." The burning will take place tonight at 6 p.m. at the ball fields on Isleta three blocks south of Rio Bravo, behind the South Valley Library. This year's statue was designed by seventh-grader Tyler Young, and is being assembled by a group of volunteer artists. Festivities include music and dancing from Raks Zeina Bellydancers, Circulo Solar Ollin Fire Dancers and Xochipilli Aztec Dancers. Food and Kookooee merchandise will be available. Remember to write down your fears on paper, stick them in El Kookooee and watch them vanish into the blazing night sky.
Finding a new beloved author and devouring everything he or she has written is exciting. So is adding a book to one’s top five, wait, top 10, OK, top 20 list of “best books ever.” But sifting through bestseller lists or taking off-base recommendations from friends and family gets tiresome. And how to find the newcomers, the undiscovered gems? Issue 24 of the Blue Mesa Review offers a way.