Program 1: October 5, 1997
Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson
An epic Southern California story of star-crossed love embedded in the rancorous 19th-century usurpation of Mexican and Native American lands, life-styles, and traditions by U.S. immigrants. Written by an outspoken social reformer and champion of equal treatment for American Indians, this self-conscious, romantic period piece is noted for its old-fashioned sentimentality, florid prose, and broad interpretations of racism.
Guests: Richard Etulain, professor of history and director of the Center for the American West at the Univ. of New Mexico; Cordelia Candelaria, professor of English, Arizona State University; Paula Gunn Allen, poet, writer & professor of English, UCLA; Valerie Mathes, professor of English, San Francisco City College & author of a biography of Helen Hunt Jackson
Program 2: October 12, 1997
With a Pistol in His Hand by Americo Paredes
An ethnomusicologist's unique, in-depth study of The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, one of the most famous and popular historical ballads conceived and sung along the U.S.-Mexico border of South Texas--a corrido that underscores the cultural (and legal) chasm separating Anglo-Texans and Mexican-Texans in the early 20th century. Part history, part anthropology, part folklore, and part investigative journalism, this story of accused sheriff-killer Gregorio Cortez is told in fascinating detail.
Guests: Enrique Lamadrid, professor of literature and folklore at UNM; Miguel Pena, ethnomusicologist and professor of Chicano Studies, Fresno State; Chuy Martinez, singer/musician
Program 3: October 19, 1997
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
This historical novel is based on the life of the autocratic French Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy, northern New Mexico's first resident bishop and the most influential, reform-minded Catholic official in the region during the late 1800s. Criticized in later years by some New Mexicans, who took issue with Cather's negative portrayals of Padre Antonio Josè Martìnez and other local Hispanic priests, the book describes a pivotal period in New Mexico history, as the isolation of Spanish and Mexican rule gave way to much greater influence from the U.S. and Europe.
Guests: Tony Mares, playwright, poet, and professor of English at UNM; Richard Etulain (see above) ; Enrique Lamadrid (see above)
Program 4: October 26, 1997
People of the Valley by Frank Waters
Told through the story of Doña Marìa, an independent and strong-willed goat farmer of Hispanic and Native American descent, this deeply moving historical novel tells how an isolated, agrarian, and mostly Spanish-speaking people in northern New Mexico's Mora Valley confronts change as English-speaking newcomers seek to mold their destiny through manipulations of technology and the law. Nature-oriented mysticism and evocative descriptions weave together the tricultural roots of the contemporary Southwest in this story, set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Guests: Barbara Waters, widow of Frank Waters; Chuck Adams, professor of English at the Univ. of Nevada/Las Vegas and the founder of the Frank Waters Society, devoted to the study of his work; Alex Blackburn, novelist and professor emeritus of English at the Univ. of Colorado/Colorado Springs, and author of a book about Waters, A Sunrise Brighter Still.
Program 5: November 2, 1997
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momoday
This is the story of Abel, a young Native American man in the mid-20th century, caught between two very different worlds: one of ancient tradition, sacred ritual, and natural rhythm; the other of alcohol, forbidden sex, and self-destruction. Set at central New Mexico's Jèmez Pueblo, the novel describes how Abel, who has just returned home after fighting a foreign war for a white man's army, is torn apart by his conflicting experiences and loyalties.
Guests: N. Scott Momaday, author; Paula Gunn Allen (see above); Susan Scarberry Garcia, instructor of English, Navajo Preparatory School, Farmington, NM, and who has written extensively on Momadays work.
Program 6: November 9, 1997
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
The coming-of-age story of Tayo, a young Native American who has survived the horror of a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, only to return to his home at central New Mexico's Laguna Pueblo and confront a profound and disturbing estrangement from his people. This poetic novel follows Tayo's search for comfort and resolution through an understanding and acceptance of ancient Laguna traditions, beliefs, ritual, and history. Tayo's difficult quest becomes a curative ceremony that promises to defeat his recurring despair.
Guests:Leslie Marmon Silko, author & recipient of a MacArthur Foundation grant; Robert Gish, writer & professor of English/ethnic studies at Polytechnic Univ./San Luis Obispo California and author of Beyond Bounds:Cross Cultural Essays on Anglo, American Indian and Chicano Literature.
Program 7: November 16, 1997
Pocho by Josè Villareal
Using down-in-the-barrio language and memorable characters, this Depression-era story describes a young Chicano's search for identity in an urban Southern California setting that contrasts dramatically with the rural Mexico background of his immigrant parents. The main character, Richard, feels painfully torn between his loyalty to his family's past traditions and his attraction to the new ideas offered by his peers in a Spanish-speaking, working-class Los Angeles neighborhood.
Guest: Cordelia Candelaria (see above)
Program 8: November 23, 1997
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
A young boy, Antonio Marez, grows up in a household that straddles two distinct Southwest traditions: the wild, restless plains of his cowboy (vaquero) father and the placid, nurturing fields of his farm-bred mother. His close relationship with a curandera--one who cures with herbs, faith, and magic--helps Tony find his way among the conflicting ties of family, culture, and religion that bind him to his past. Its integration of folklore, mysticism, and myth have made this book a classic.
Guests: Rudolfo Anaya, author; Cordelia Candelaria (see above); Enrique Lamadrid (see above)
Program 9: November 30, 1997
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
The last of a long line of rough-hewn Texas cattle ranchers comes of age along the Mexican border--beautiful and desolate, rugged and cruelly civilized. Young John Grady Cole, with two companions, sets out on a icaresque adventure that is by turns comic and violent, charming and tragic. McCarthy brings a lyric Southern literary tradition to a recurring Western theme: finding an identity within La Frontera, a region that is neither U.S. nor Mexico.
Guest: Robert Gish (see above)
Program 10: December 7, 1997
The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols
An epic, socially-conscious tale of water and land rights conflicts, racism and cultural imperialism, community cohesion and outsider development. Outsider-activist Nichols sets his contemporary novel in a tiny Spanish-speaking village in rural northern New Mexico, focusing on the remarkable chain of events that follow passionate everyman Joe Mondragòn's illegal diversion of an irrigation ditch to water his beanfield.
Guest: John Nichols, author.
Program 11: December 14, 1997
Face of an Angel by Denise Chavez
An intimate, humorous look at life in a small southern New Mexico town, as seen through the eyes of its world-wise, free-spirited heroine, Soveida Dosamantes, a once-divorced, once-widowed waitress whose life reads something like a Balzac comedy. Through a series of colorful dialogues and monologues woven throughout the book, the day-to-day world of the Hispanic working class comes to life in the words and deeds of the main character's customers, coworkers, and extended family.
Guest: Denise Chavez, author.
Program 12: December 21, 1997
In Mad Love and War by Joy Harjo
A collection of poems that are at once fiery and candid, stately and formal, written from the perspective of a contemporary young woman caught between two often conflicting domains: that of the traditional, rural Native American (Muskogee/Creek) and that of the modern, urban Anglo American. Harjo taps the frustration, beauty, anger, challenge, and solace presented by this juxtaposition of old and new, mainstream and minority.
Guests: Joy Harjo, author; Paula Gunn Allen (see above)
Program 13: December 28, 1997
The Brave Cowboy by Edward Abbey
A Thoreauesque story about a taciturn, self-reliant cowboy at odds with the contradictions and technologies of modern human society as it seeks to impose itself on the rural Southwest of the mid-20th century. Jack Burns's personal code of ethics sets him on a collision course with the keepers of law and order. Like other Abbey novels, this work explores the problematic relationship between wilderness and civilization, between environmental consciousness and the push for exploitation and development.
Guests: Jack Loeffler, co-host, friend and biographer of Abbey Malcolm Brown, Utah rancher and friend of Abbeys