The 2012 Rudolfo & Patricia Anaya Lecture
on the Literature of the Southwest


John Nichols

From Anaya to Zollinger: A Personal Journey Through Southwest Literature

2012-John Nichols

Wednesday Nov 7, 2012 - 7:00 pm

George Pearl Hall Auditorium

UNM School of Architecture and Planning

John Nichols

A resident of New Mexico since 1969, John Nichols is the author of 12 novels and 8 works of non-fiction. His most recent novel, On Top of Spoon Mountain, was published by the University of New Mexico Press in October of this year. Nichols has written the "New Mexico Trilogy" of novels—his classic The Milagro Beanfield War, The Magic Journey, and The Nirvana Blues— as well as a non–fiction trilogy about the Southwest—If Mountains Die, The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn, and On the Mesa. Three of Nichols’s novels have been adapted into films: The Sterile Cuckoo, for which Liza Minnelli received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress, The Milagro Beanfield War, directed by Robert Redford, and The Wizard of Loneliness.

Nichols writes with a signature humor, a close attention to regional detail, and a keen awareness of the political context that invariably shapes everyday life in New Mexico. "Much of my work has dealt with struggles for human justice, land and water rights issues, the clash between Chicano, Native American, and Anglo cultures," Nichols writes. "My stuff is often polemical, usually comic. Laugh and the world laughs with us; weep and we weep alone."

"We are thrilled to welcome John Nichols to UNM," said David Dunaway, UNM Professor and author of Writing The Southwest. "John Nichols has not only taught at UNM, but his work is currently studied here; and of course he is one of the best-known authors of Northern New Mexico. His has been an unwavering voice for environmental sensitivity, cultural respect, and economic justice in the half-century he has lived in New Mexico. His writing is hilarious while serious; audiences who have never heard him read will be delighted."

John Nichols signing a bookThe valuable collections of the UNM Center for Southwest Research include the complete papers of John Nichols, 1957-2008.

Other resources for work by John Nichols can be found at the following websites:

Consisting of manuscripts, correspondence, speeches, and original artwork, the collection documents regional history, Southwest culture, and personal connections in New Mexico (and elsewhere) for more than 50 years.

A Special Thank You

Made possible through a generous gift from New Mexico writer Rudolfo Anaya, the annual Anaya Lecture brings together students, faculty, and community members to address the rich traditions and new directions of Southwest literature.

UNM co-sponsors for the November 7, 2012 Anaya Lecture with John Nichols include the following:

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