La Llorona by Rudolfo Anaya
The Crying Woman

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La Llorona, the Crying Woman, is the legendary creature who haunts rivers, lakes, and lonely roads. Said to seek out children who disobey their parents, she has become a "boogeyman," terrorizing the imaginations of New Mexican children and inspiring them to behave. But there are other lessons her tragic history can demonstrate for children.

In Rudolfo Anaya's version Maya, a young woman in ancient Mexico, loses her children to Father Time's cunning. This tragic and informative story serves as an accessible message of mortality for children. La Llorona, deftly translated by Enrique Lamadrid, is familiar and newly informative, while Amy Córdova's rich illustrations illuminate the story. The legend as retold by Anaya, a man as integral to southwest tradition as La Llorona herself, is storytelling anchored in a very human experience. His book helps parents explain to children the reality of death and the loss of loved ones.

Rudolfo Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano literature, is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He is best known for the classic Bless Me Ultima.


"This child-friendly story is an excellent addition to the folklore that already exists concerning La Llorona and will no doubt create many new believers." -- School Library Journal

About Rudolfo Anaya

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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. David Diaz has illustrated numerous award-winning books for children, including "Smoky Night" by Eve Bunting, for which he was awarded the Caldecott Medal; "The Wanderer" by Sharon Creech, which received a Newbery Honor; and "Diego: Bigger Than Life" by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, a Pura Belpr Honor Award winner. An illustrator and graphic designer for more than twenty-five years, he is also a painter and an accomplished ceramic artist. Mr. Diaz lives in Carlsbad, California.
Published September 16, 2011 by University of New Mexico Press. 40 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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