The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories

Overview

"I am continually thinking stories," writes Rudolfo Anaya. "Even when I am working on a novel, the images for stories keep coming."

Considered by many to be the founder of modern Chicano literature, Rudolfo Anaya, best known for Bless Me, Ultima and other novels, has also authored a number of remarkable short stories. Now for the first time, these stories, representing thirty years of Anaya’s writing, have been collected into a single volume. They constitute the best and most ...

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Overview

"I am continually thinking stories," writes Rudolfo Anaya. "Even when I am working on a novel, the images for stories keep coming."

Considered by many to be the founder of modern Chicano literature, Rudolfo Anaya, best known for Bless Me, Ultima and other novels, has also authored a number of remarkable short stories. Now for the first time, these stories, representing thirty years of Anaya’s writing, have been collected into a single volume. They constitute the best and most essential collection of Anaya’s short story work.

Unlike his novels, which range broadly over the American tapestry, Anaya’s short stories focus on character and ethical questions in a regional setting—from the harsh deserts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico to the lush tropical forests of Uxmal in the Yucatán. These tales demonstrate Anaya’s singular attitude toward fiction: that stories create myths to live and love by. "In the end the story has to speak for itself," Anaya writes. "Its purpose can be studied, but never fully known."

With The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories, the reader ventures deeply into the world of Rudolfo Anaya, a world of magic, mystery, harsh realities, and redemption.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Anaya—godfather and guru of Chicano Literature"—Tony Hillerman

“Rudolfo Anaya has done it again! His tales, whether set in Germany, the jungles of Mesoamerica, or a New Mexico pueblito, probe the spirit of place in ways that leave the reader wondering what spirits inhabit his or her own region, most especially the region of the heart.”—Demetria Martinez, author of Confessions of a Berliz-Tape Chicana

Publishers Weekly
This collection of 18 short stories spanning the past 30 years showcases Anaya's literary voice, at once innocent and omniscient, and rooted in the windswept llanos (plains) of New Mexico. Anaya, the award-winning Chicano author (Bless Me, Ultima), masterfully infuses his cuentos, or folktales, with mysticism and spirituality. The title story, for example, encapsulates a rancher's hard-learned lesson about magic. Anaya fluently weaves sensuality with small-town Catholicism in "Iliana of the Pleasure Dreams," about a teenage bride consumed by sexual fantasies. When the face of Christ supposedly appears on the church wall at sunset, she and her shy new husband connect over their inability to see the miracle. In "The Silence of the Llano," the collection's most moving story, the marital bliss of the ranchero Rafael is destroyed when his wife dies in childbirth, and he and his new daughter live separate, isolated lives under the same roof for 16 years, until another tragedy reunites them. "In Search of Epifano" features death as a benign figure, representing not only inevitability but also the resolution of a deep-seated desire unquenchable by anything on earth. Anaya's characters' longing shimmers off elegiac, deceptively simple prose, captivating in its aspiration and achievement. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The award-winning author of Bless Me, Ultima, Anaya is deeply interested in the role of storyteller as mythmaker. As is abundantly apparent in this collection of 18 short stories, the story becomes "not only a fiction but a myth." The stories showcase 30 years of Anaya's Chicano literary voice, simultaneously innocent and omniscient and always rooted in the landscape, especially the windswept llanos of New Mexico. In "Silence of the Llano," for example, Rafael's marital bliss is suddenly destroyed with his wife's death during childbirth. People whisper that the endless, oppressive llano had taken Rafael's soul. There is an intensity to these stories that compels us to read on; this then provokes reflection on the powerful theme: a religious experience ("In Search of Epifano"); sexual fantasy ("Iliana of the Pleasure Dreams"); desire, fate, or destiny ("The Village That the Gods Painted Yellow"); tragic loss, reunion, or resolution ("Children of the Desert"). The characters' passionate force radiates from Anaya's simple prose as they confront ethical dilemmas in varied regional settings. Recommended for all collections.-Sofia A. Tangalos, SUNY at Buffalo Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

The road to Platero 3
Children of the desert 10
The village that the gods painted yellow 18
A story 36
The silence of the Llano 47
The place of the swallows 67
The apple orchard 74
B. Traven is alive and well in Cuernavaca 87
Jeronimo's journey 103
Iliana of the pleasure dreams 119
Devil deer 132
The man who found a pistol 140
Message from the Inca 148
Absalom 159
The captain 164
In search of Epifano 177
Dead end 182
The man who could fly 190
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