Literature •  Southwest •  Literary Studies and Essays

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Writing the Southwest

Revised Edition

Edited by David Dunaway
Edited by Sara Spurgeon

First published in 1995, this assemblage of interviews, bibliographies, excerpts, and criticism on fourteen of the Southwest's most important authors has been updated and expanded. The accompanying 74-minute compact disc provides excerpts from the authors. Tony Hillerman discusses how blindness in the army helped shape his writings; Terry McMillan explains her start as a writer and why she thought, when she was young, that African-Americans didn't write books. Each recorded interview ranges from 4 to 10 minutes.
Reviews of the first edition:
"Much more than an ordinary compilation. . . . A vivid composite of the region's best-known writers, Writing the Southwest is an excellent sampling of unique viewpoints and deep roots."- Publishers Weekly
"The writers included here . . . represent the vital ethnic mixture of the Southwest past and present. . . . For modern literature students, as well as those who are curious about the backgrounds of some of their favorite writers, this is a good choice." - Kliatt


Sara Spurgeon is Assistant Professor of English at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.

Rudolfo Anaya, widely acclaimed as one of the founders of modern Chicano literature, is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico. He is best known for the classic Bless Me, Ultima.

Paula Gunn Allen, Laguna Pueblo/Sioux/Scots/Lebanese poet, philosopher, scholar, and teacher, was born in Cubero, New Mexico, in 1939. She received her doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 1976; her dissertation evolved into a major work of cultural criticism, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Two volumes of her poetry, Skins and Bones and Life Is a Fatal Disease, were published by West End Press. She completed the manuscript for this book a week before her death on May 29, 2008 in Fort Bragg, California.


"David Dunaway and Sara Spurgeon offer a hybrid of biography, interview, and excerpts about fourteen Southwestern poets, playwrights, essayists, and novelists in Writing the Southwest. . . . A very worthwhile, attractive package. It is in some way a snapshot or voiceprint of the major Southwestern writers in the early 1990s, and we hear their own voices as they articulate their concerns and aspirations."


Southwestern American Literature

"This highly entertaining and instructive potluck contains excerpts from the works of fourteen of the southwest's most important writers along with their biographies and their comments on the meaning and process of writing. . . . If you can read only one book about the southwest, it should be this one. If you have any inclination to be a writer, you must read this book and listen to the CD."


The Southwest Sage

6 x 9 in. 318 pages Includes compact disc not sold separately