Bless Me, Ultima

Coming Soon


By Rudolfo Anaya

Foreword by Denise Chávez

Afterword by Carmella Padilla

Contributions by Manuel Munoz

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$24.99 CAD

Full of “sensual dreams [and] unexplained phenomena,” this "best-known and most-respected" coming-of-age classic from the godfather of Chicano literature follows a young boy growing up in the llano, or plains, of post-World War II New Mexico, and the generous curandera who introduces him to the sacred side of life (New York Times).

A PBS Great American Read · Winner of the Premio Quinto Sol Award · Recipient of the National Humanities Medal · With a new Foreword by author, playwright, and stage director Denise Chavez; a new Afterword by award-winning journalist and author Carmela Padilla; and a new essay by Manuel Muñoz, a Macarthur Fellow and winner of the Joyce Carol Oates Prize.  

“I pulled this baby into the light of life . . . Only I will know his destiny.”

Antonio Marez is six years old when the woman who helped usher him into the world comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. Venerated by some as a miracle-worker—and disparaged by others as a bruja—Ultima, a curandera, or healer, opens Tony’s eyes to the spiritual roots of his culture, and introduces him to a magical, if sometimes frightening, new world: a realm in which she operates as a shaman.

Suddenly, the ordinary challenges and triumphs of childhood become extraordinary. As Ultima shows Tony how to cure ailments, reverse curses, and restore peace to those who have lost it, he embarks on a singular quest, one in which he probes the family ties that bind and rend him, questions the Catholicism that shaped him, and explores the Spanish, Mexican, and Native American influences that informed not only his heritage, but his very sense of self. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who was there the day he was born . . . and will nurture the birth of his soul.

A rich and wondrous story that reveals universal truths about the human condition and celebrates the beauty of Chicano culture.

Includes a Reading Group Guide.

  • "The best-known and most-respected contemporary Chicano fiction."
    New York Times
  • "One of the nation's foremost Chicano literary artists."
    Denver Post
  • "This extraordinary storyteller has always written unpretentiously but provocatively about identity. Every work is a fiesta, a ceremony preserving but reshaping old traditions that honor the power within the land and la raza, the people."
    Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • "The novelist most widely known and read in the Latino community."
  • "The novel has warmth of feeling."
    Library Journal

On Sale
Sep 17, 2024
Page Count
320 pages

Rudolfo Anaya

About the Author

Rudolfo Anaya is the bestselling author of the beloved Bless Me, Ultima, and one of the founding voices in modern Chicano literature. In 2016, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama. A former professor at the University of New Mexico, he won numerous literary awards, including the Premio Quinto Sol National Chicano literary award, the 2007 Notable New Mexican Award, and the PEN Center USA West Award for Fiction. Bless Me, Ultima was named a Great American Read by PBS, and has been adapted into a feature film, an opera, and several stage plays. Anaya was a lifelong champion of Chicano voices and devoted himself to supporting aspiring writers. He passed away on June 28, 2020.

Learn more about this author