The Big Read Blog (Archive)


May 15, 2009
Washington, DC

Yesterday, the Arts Endowment announced 11 new NEA National Heritage Fellows , the best of the best of the nation?s artists working in the folk and traditional arts. Tradition is at the heart of many of the Big Read titles, from the rigid etiquette of ?Old New York? in Edith Wharton?s The Age of Innocence and Henry James?s Washington Square to the immigrant traditions that permeate Amy Tan?s The Joy Luck Club and Willa Cather?s My Ántonia. In the following literary moment, 2006 NEA National Heritage Fellow Charles M. Carrillo, a New Mexican anthropologist and santero (a carver and painter of images of saints), discusses one of the many traditional beliefs at the heart of Rudolfo Anaya?s Bless Me, Ultima.