Billy the Kid and Other Plays

Overview

While award-winning author Rudolfo Anaya is known primarily as a novelist, his genius is also evident in dramatic works performed regularly in his native New Mexico and throughout the world. Billy the Kid and Other Plays collects seven of these works and offers them together for the first time.
 
Like his novels, many of Anaya’s plays are built from the folklore of the Southwest. This volume opens with The Season of La Llorona, in which ...
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Overview

While award-winning author Rudolfo Anaya is known primarily as a novelist, his genius is also evident in dramatic works performed regularly in his native New Mexico and throughout the world. Billy the Kid and Other Plays collects seven of these works and offers them together for the first time.
 
Like his novels, many of Anaya’s plays are built from the folklore of the Southwest. This volume opens with The Season of La Llorona, in which Anaya fuses the Mexican legend of the dreaded “crying woman” with that of La Malinche, mistress and adviser to Hernán Cortés. Southwestern lore also shapes the title play, which provides a Mexican American perspective on the Kid—or Bilito, as he is known in
New Mexico—along with keen insight into the slipperiness of history. The Farolitos of Christmas and Matachines uncover both the sweet and the sinister in stories behind seasonal New Mexican rituals.
 
Other plays here address loss of the old ways—farming, connection to the land, the primacy of family—while showing the power of change. The mystery Who Killed Don José? uses the murder of a wealthy sheep rancher to look at political corruption and modernization. Ay, Compadre! and Angie address aging and death, though with refreshing humor and optimism.
 
Elegant and poetic, intense and funny, these are the plays Anaya considers his best. The author tells how each originated, while Cecilia J. Aragón and Robert Con Davis- Undiano offer critical analysis and performance history. Both Anaya fans and readers new to his work will find this collection a rich trove, as will community theaters and scholars in Chicano literature and drama.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Anaya’s voice never falters. . . . As with everything [he] writes, there is a profound sense of hope and an unabashed love of his culture, land, and writing craft.”Multicultural Review

"Anaya’s characters’ longing shimmers off elegiac, deceptively simple prose, captivating in its aspiration and achievement.” Publishers Weekly

“As a playwright, Rudolfo Anaya captures the rhythms and language of the New Mexican experience. His talent, tenacity, and breadth as an artist, has inspired me. I have enjoyed working with Rudy and directing his plays because they were fun and had wonderful resonance with audiences both within and outside New Mexico. An anthology of his plays has tremendous cultural significance because it specifically offers Latino theatre artists’ opportunities to develop and explore characters from a region seldom seen in popular culture.” Marcos Martinez Professor of Theatre, California State University in San Marcos, Department of Visual and Performing Arts

"Rudy’s work in the theatre gives life to people of all backgrounds but focuses on the descendants of the first colonizers: Mexican, Spanish, Native American and African. His Mestizo characters shine with that indescribable twinkle every New Mexican enjoys as living inhabitants of the Land of Enchantment. Without fanfare, without denying the beauty of other cultures and regions of these United States, Rudy give a voice to the rich, the poor, the landed and the landless with dignity and humor.”Jorge A. Huerta Professor Emeritus, Theatre and Dance Department, University of California San Diego

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806142258
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 12/10/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,471,260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rudolfo Anaya is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He has received numerous literary awards, including the Premio Quinto Sol and a National Medal of Arts. Anaya resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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