Heart of Aztlan: A Novel
The Albuquerque barrio portrayed in this vivid novel of postwar New Mexico is a place where urban and rural, political and religious realities coexist, collide, and combine. The magic realism for which Anaya is well known combines with an emphatic portrayal of the plight of workers dispossessed of their heritage and struggling to survive in an alien culture.
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It was a plain, smooth stone, washed down from the mountains hundreds of years
ago. There was nothing special to it and yet as he held it in his hands he felt a
strange vibration humming in the rock. He looked at the crest of the mountain.
The sun burned them to the bone, the fever dried Clemente's soul so he could not
speak, and the mountain trails cut his feet until they bled, and still he moved
forward, whispering the name Aztldn. High on a mountain they met the keeper of
And so Clemente returned to the barrio, barely alive, raving about the mountain
he had climbed and the visions he had seen. Fever racked his body as he lay in
bed and for weeks he alternated between fitful sleep and wild explosions when ...