Billy the Kid and Other Plays
Rudolfo Anaya; with an afterword by Cecilia J. Aragon and Robert Con Davis-Undiano. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, c2011. 382 pp. $24.95. 978-0-8061-4225-8.
Monday, May 14, 2012
by: Reviewed by Ida D. McGhee

Section: Adult Book Reviews

Ida D. McGhee, Retired, Hartford Public Library, CT

Humorous, thrilling and at times tragic, rarely does a book cause one to laugh out loud and later shed tears of sadness as this one does.  Billy the Kid and Other Plays is powerful, sheer mastery unified by vividly blending the common themes of nostalgia, romance, suspense and humor throughout the seven plays which center around New Mexico and the Southwest region of the United States.  Anaya skillfully creates characters' interwoven lives that are engrossing, unforgettable and engaging from the first page of The Season of La Llorona to The Farolitos of Christmas to Billy the Kid, or Bilito.   Filled with stories about families, farming, politics, Mexican legends and folklore, each play will captivate the reader.  A master of his craft, Anaya’s extensive and impressive introduction sets the stage for the book and the afterword provides detailed background information about each play and previous performances. Awarded the National Medal of Arts, Anaya is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico.  Anaya is the author of numerous novels, short stories, essays and children's books; Billy the Kid is the first collection of his plays to be published.  This great model that should provide inspiration for more Chicano plays to follow.  This title is part of the series Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Américas.

Extraordinary and profound, considering its affordable cost, this work should be placed in all Drama and Performing Arts Collections.

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