The Old Man's Love Story

The Old Man's Love Story

by Rudolfo Anaya


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“There was an old man who dwelt in the land of New Mexico, and he lost his wife.” From that opening line, this tender novella is at once universal and deeply personal. The nameless narrator, a writer, shares his most intimate thoughts about his wife, their life together, and her death. But just as death is inseparable from life, his wife seems still to be with him. Her memory and words permeate his days. In The Old Man’s Love Story, master storyteller Rudolfo Anaya crafts the tale of a lifelong love that ultimately transcends death.

An elegy not just for the dead but for the vitality of youth, the old man’s story captures both the heartaches and ironies of old age. We follow him as he proceeds through days of grief and memory, buying his few groceries, driving slower than the other travelers on the road. He talks with his wife along the way. “Go slow,” he hears her admonish. As he sits in the garden with their dogs, he senses her worry over his loneliness. A year passes. He longs to care for someone, but—to love again?

Like characters in Anaya’s previous fiction, the old man lives in a real New Mexico, but one inhabited by spirits. Death provides a gateway to other worlds, just as memories connect him to other times and places. When he eventually begins a new friendship with a woman, a widow, they share a bittersweet understanding of joy mixed with sorrow, promise mixed with loss.

Anaya’s reflections, as shared through the experiences of this old man, point to the power and importance of love at every stage of life. Lyrical and earthy, sad yet suffused with humor, The Old Man’s Love Story will speak to all readers, perhaps especially to those who have suffered a recent loss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806146485
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Series: Chicana and Chicano Visions of the Americas series , #12
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 1,151,881
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rudolfo Anaya is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico and award-winning author of numerous books including the classic Bless Me, Ultima. He has received myriad awards and honors for his work including Western Writers of America’s Owen Wister Award (2018), the National Humanities Medal (2015), the National Medal of Arts (2001) and the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes (2012). He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Southwest has served as an inspiration for his writing throughout his life.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This heartbreaking fable comes from a deep well of experience and wisdom. Rudolfo Anaya is not concerned with fashion, or fame. He is writing with blood. This is a book for everyone who has ever loved, for everyone who has grieved, and for everyone who has ever hoped, in the darkest night, that what is essential goes on possibly forever. I love this book, and you will, too.”—Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America

“Rudolfo Anaya is a wondrous spirit, generous with his hard-earned wisdom and his gifts for story and for love. The Old Man’s Love Story is meditative, majestically deep, but simple in execution. It flows with narrative power. We are all wiser, deeper,and closer to God through Anaya’s words and images"—Luis J. Rodríguez, author of It Calls You Back: An Odyssey through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing

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