Cover image for My land sings : stories from the Rio Grande
My land sings : stories from the Rio Grande
Anaya, Rudolfo A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow Junior Books, 1999.
Physical Description:
176 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
A collection of ten original and traditional stories set in New Mexico, including "Lupe and la Llorona, " "The Shepherd Who Knew the Language of Animals, " and "Coyote and Raven."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.9 5.0 54681.
Added Author:
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A collection of ten original and traditional stories set in New Mexico, including Lupe and la Llorona, The Shepherd Who Knew the Language of Animals, and Coyote and Raven.

Author Notes

Rudolfo Anaya, an educator and author, was born on October 30, 1937, in Pastura, New Mexico. He earned a B.A. in English in 1963, an M.A. in 1968 and a second M.A. in Guidance Counseling in 1972 from the University of New Mexico.

During the 1960s, Anaya taught in the Albuquerque public schools. In 1974 he began to teach at the University of New Mexico and earned the title of professor emeritus in 1993.

Anaya's first novel, Bless Me, Ultima began as a trilogy including Heart of Aztlan (1976), and Tortuga (1979). This loose trilogy based on his life experience as a Chicano child, formed Anaya's reputation. Anaya mixed old Spanish folk tales based on the oral tradition with a theme of loss, specifically the loss of religious belief.

In 1993, he won the PEN West Center Fiction Award for his novel Albuquerque. 1995 Anaya received both the El Fuego Nuevo Award from the Mexican American Educators and the Excellence in Humanities Award from the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities.

Anaya has lectured extensively around the world. His works have been translated into many languages such as Italian, Russian and Japanese. With his wife Patricia, he founded the Aztlan Premio, a prize encouraging Chicano writers. Anaya resides in Albuquerque.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5^-9. Revered novelist and storyteller Anaya reached into his ancestral roots to share these 10 stories, five passed down orally for centuries and five original tales with similar cadence and style, rich in traditional Mexican and Native American folklore. Nearly all set in New Mexico, the stories are of three types: cuentos, tales of the picaros, and tales of enchantment. The cuentos, varying in tone and theme, include riddles, humorous tales, and stories about animals. The picaro stories involve a rogue, who usually traffics with the devil only to discover that the price of his mischief is death and damnation. The tales of enchantment are deeply rooted in ancient mythological beliefs about wandering spirits whose presence results in a valuable lesson for the mortal characters. Every story spins its magic effectively. Best of all, beyond their solid entertainment value and read-aloud potential, the engaging tales allegorically extol solid virtues (obeying one's parents, creating luck through hard work, keeping vows, being charitable) that readers can easily grasp. --Roger Leslie

Publisher's Weekly Review

Haunting characters people Anaya's (The Farolitos of Christmas) collection of 10 tales in the R¡o Grande valley of New Mexico. He combines five cuentos from Spanish and Native American folklore (previously published in a bilingual volume for adults) with original stories that incorporate inherited themes such as a respect for elders, the dangers of going against traditional mores and traces from an old world Roman Catholicism. In "Dulcinea," for instance, a beautiful, isolated 15-year-old from Llano Estacado sees a handsome stranger on a visit to the village and determines to meet him at a dance. Her father forbids it, saying, "Dark wind follows the stranger who has come to our village.... The devil rides the whirlwind," but she attends anyway, with life-altering results. And in "The Three Brothers," a youngest son is rewarded for his faith, while his two older brothers' selfishness is punished with eternal damnation. Anaya's preface describes sources and variations on his material, as well as the process in which he has used cuentos in his novels. While readers may be familiar with the outlines of "Lupe and la Llorona" (the crying woman), "The Shepherd Who Knew the Language of Animals" and "Coyote and Raven," a creation tale, these reworkings contain compelling twists that will keep the pages turning. Ages 10-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-9-This collection of stories has elements of both Mexican and Native American folklore. Anaya has included five of his own stories and retold and enhanced five traditional tales. Filled with ghosts, devils, and tricksters, these cuentos are suffused with the beliefs of the peoples in the Rio Grande region. Because of the predominating Roman Catholicism of those who settled the area, the pieces have strong elements of that religion in them as well. The tales are divided into categories such as rogues and rascals, enchantment, animals, and riddles; some are humorous, while others teach a lesson. The latter is represented by the author's story "Sipa's Choice," in which a young leader and his people are metamorphosed into golden carp because the young man failed to respect the traditional ways of his father. Anaya champions the reading of a good book or listening to a folktale as an opportunity to insert one's own experiences into the story and, hence, to nurture the imagination. This appealing volume will add diversity to folklore collections.-Sylvia V. Meisner, Allen Middle School, Greensboro, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.