Bless Me, Ultima

Bless Me, Ultima

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Grand Central Pub
This coming-of-age classic and the bestselling Chicano novel of all time follows a young boy as he questions his faith and beliefs -- now one of PBS's "100 Great American Reads."

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.

The winner of the 2015 National Humanities Medal, Rudolfo Anaya is acclaimed as the father of Chicano literature in English and for his rich and compassionate writing about the Mexican-American experience.

Baker & Taylor
Ultima, a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic, comes to Antonio Marez's New Mexico family when he is six years old, and she helps him discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past. Reprint.

Publisher: New York :, Warner Books
Copyright Date: ©1972
ISBN: 9781455521333
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


From the critics

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May 08, 2019

I found the review by slothsrule an excellent description of this classic 1972 book. I'd heard of it & wanted to 'listen' to this cultural depiction by a 'Chicano' writer of great esteem & respect. I wasn't disappointed in his portrayal of the young man changing to adulthood.

It is simplistic, not simple, & very descriptive of ancient beliefs are merged with christianity, not much different from the way christians merged pagan time periods into their own. Lack of capitalization intentional. I also chose the book due to interest of the authors name. While doing ancestry I found tracing Hispanic lines very difficult, i.e., Rodolfo Rodolfo. With a dictionary handy to help with words I didn't know I certainly learned some new ones I probably can't use. I think it helps to have an interest in another era, another culture unfamiliar with one's own & learn something new.

I think Bless Me, Ultima is a good book for teens to read. The novel was about a young boy named Antonio growing up and he witnessed the acts of both good and evil. I like what I read because I can relate to how growing up is difficult and reality can ruin the expectations.
- Jennifer, Age 16

Hillsboro_BarbaraO Nov 07, 2018

Seven year old, Antonio Márez learns valuable lessons from Ultima, the old "curandera" or folk healer who comes to stay with him and his family in their small house in Guadalupe, New Mexico in the mid-1940's.

Jan 24, 2018

Excellent. Nothing but praise for this book.

slothsrule Dec 30, 2015

A coming of age classic set in beautiful New Mexico depicting a young Mexican American boy and the dividing forces of his family and his love for a pagan healer named Ultima who comes to live with the family. The young boy Antionio experiences many beautiful and dark things in his boyhood. The story is poetic and beautifully written and took me to a time and place that I knew little about.

CMLibrary_JLytal Dec 12, 2015

This was truly a beautiful book. Anaya has a wonderful way of writing that makes the book come alive. He handles the complex interplay between ancient native traditions and the Catholic traditions that have become almost equally ingrained very well, despite presenting them through the eyes of child. This is one of my all time favorite books.

Apr 30, 2014

I can't imagine why anything in this book would gross anyone out. I think it was beautifully written. The main character is a young boy with an open heart, discovering his heritage & trying to embrace what is real as far as his religious/spiritual beliefs. Loved it!

natalie_g Oct 21, 2013

Bless Me, Ultima is now a major motion picture, but the book is a must read.

Antonio Mares, the narrator, is only a child exploring his own history and that of the world around him. His childish voice and notions make the harsh realities of westernization and racism
and loss of identity harder to read and accept.
Rudolfo Anaya paints New Mexico beautifully. His characters are unforgettable. I would rank this as one of the best American novels fit for all ages.

Feb 22, 2013

At first, I really didn't know what to expect by reading this book. I don't speak any Spanish, so some of the small conversations I didn't pick up on. However, I could understand what was going on because of the author's good writing before and after those quotes. This book was a required book I had to read for a report, so trying to get motivated to read was tough. When I started reading it, it was okay. Once I started getting into the book, it became good. Overall I liked it. I would have perhaps enjoyed it more if I spoke Spanish. I really liked it though!

Jan 04, 2013

This is an interesting book - although I felt he wrote from the adult experience , rather than the child 's . His writing about the golden carp was inspired

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Jul 12, 2013

Sagarpp3 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

DebAK Jul 09, 2013

DebAK thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


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Jul 12, 2013

“Understanding comes with life. As a man grows he sees life and death, he is happy and sad, he works, plays, meets people - sometimes it takes a lifetime to acquire understanding, because in the end understanding simply means having sympathy for people. ”


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