Birthplace: Pastura, New Mexico
Rudolfo Anaya's evocative work is steeped in the land and life of his native Southwest. The first of his seven novels, Bless Me, Ultima (1972), a coming-of-age story set in 1940s New Mexico, is considered a classic of modern American literature. Anaya has also brought his storytelling gifts to essays, children's books, plays, poetry, and the 1998 mystery Shaman Winter. His 1999 novel Alburquerque (the extra "r" reflects the city's original Spanish spelling) won the PEN Center West Award-just one of Anaya's many honors. Anaya is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico.