Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez
The heroic life of labor and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez greatly influenced the political and creative thinking of famed Chicano novelist Rudolfo Anaya. After Chavez' death in 1992, Anaya wrote this poem eulogizing the man and his life's work. Echoing Shelley's elegy on the death of John Keats, the poem expresses the grief of la gente, but closes by calling all peoples together to continue the non-violent struggle for freedom and justice. The book--endorsed by the Cesar Chavez Foundation--includes an essay by Anaya detailing the effect that Chavez had on his own vision and a chronology of Chavez' life. Powerful super realistic illustrations by Gaspar Enriquez bring home the significance of Cesar Chavez to the American cultural landscape. "This elegy captures the love of farm workers and the Latino community, all who yearn for justice, for this irreplaceable hero. Cesar's life is the lucero, the light that provides vision to the path, with the glow of energy generated by the struggle. This elegy invites all to march in Cesar's path, to attain the hope and promise of his legacy--a legacy made simple by Cesar so everyone can participate in the quest for justice. Cesar's lucero spotlighted the attainable victory, the solution to end the suffering of farm workers, a union, "the farm workers' house of justice" where those that feed the world can end their suffering and have a final voice over their lives and destinies." --Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Rudolfo Anaya (his classic novel Bless Me, Ultima has 1,000,000-plus in print) has earned international acclaim for his skillful mingling of realism, fantasy and myth while exploring the experiences of Hispanics in the American Southwest. Besides being the author of numerous novels and children's books, Mr. Anaya has been called "the godfather of Chicano literature" and "un hijo del pueblo" for his work as an activist for the literature of his people and his region. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Artist Gaspar Enriquez is nationally known for his super-realistic, airbrush paintings of young men and women from the barrios of his hometown El Paso. Using the same technique, he collaged images of Cesar Chavez, farm workers, police, newspaper article, fields of grapes and icons of La Raza and Aztlan to create the ambiance of the life and times of this hero.
- Paperback | 32 pages
- 203 x 254 x 3mm | 128g
- 15 Apr 2004
- Cinco Puntos Press
- 12 Color illustrations
About Rudolfo A. Anaya
One of the most influential authors in Chicano literature, Rudolfo Anaya has earned international acclaim for his skillful mingling of realism, fantasy and myth in novels exploring the experiences of Hispanics in the American Southwest. Novelist, poet, short story author, essayist, playwright and children's book writer--Mr. Anaya has been called "the godfather of Chicano literature in English," "one of the best writers in this country," "un hijo del pueblo," and "a son of New Mexico." His long list of national and international awards include the prestigious Premio Quinto Sol national Chicano Literary Award for his first novel, Bless Me, Ultima. GASPAR ENRIQUEZ, whose super-realistic paintings are exhibited all over the country, was born and grew up on the south side of El Paso, Texas. He illustrated Elegy on the Death of Cesar Chavez by Rudolfo Anaya. He lives in San Elizario, a small village near the border of the United States and Mexico, in a 250-year-old house built by his wife's great-great grandfather. He has a fine arts degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and a master's degree from New Mexico State University. He is an art instructor at Bowie High School in El Paso. In 1994, he received a Mid-America Arts Alliance Fellowship. His work was included in the important and ground-breaking Chicano Art / Resistance and Affirmation show that traveled throughout the United States in the early 90s.