Southwest Books of the Year
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- Old Man's Love Story, The
- By Rudolfo Anaya. University of Oklahoma Press. 170 pp. $19.95.
- Fiction-, play-, and children-book author Rudolfo Anaya has sometimes drawn from his own experience for his work. This latest novella, which he acknowledges to be a response to the 2010 death of his wife, is a meditation on grief, love, and aging. Opening with the line “There was an old man who dwelt in the land of New Mexico, and he lost his wife,” it is stylistically fable-like. The language is simple, the characters are abstracted, and at some points the action morphs into a realm of magical realism. Much of what passes for action takes places in the old man’s mind: he talks to his wife (and she actually periodically appears as a point of view character); in his effort to hold onto her, he muses on such subjects as the natures of love, memory, God, time, place, the imagination, the shamanic role of the writer.
Lyrical and affecting, it’s a must-read for anyone who loved Bless Me, Ultima.