Rudolfo Anaya's personal journey to Tortuga began one desert-hot day when, as an adolescent, he and some friends were swimming in irrigation ditches. He dove in, sustaining an injury that put him in the hospital for an arduous period of time.
Tortuga is set in a hospital for crippled children and is based on Anaya's swimming accident. He explores the significance of pain and suffering in a young boy's life and the importance of spiritual recovery as well as medical. Tortuga, or Turtle, is the name of the oddly shaped mountain near the hospital, but "Tortuga" also points toward the rigid cast that encases the young hero's body.
In celebration of the twenty-five years since the first edition of Tortuga was published, Rudolfo Anaya has provided an Afterword to share his memories of those days in the hospital and how they impacted the remainder of his life.
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About the Author
Rudolfo Anaya was 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 lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the Southwest has served as an inspiration for his writing throughout his life.
"Explores the significance of pain and suffering in a young boy's life and the importance of spiritual recovery as well as medical."
""Tortuga" is one of those rare works that speaks to the human condition across time and space, and it well-deserves to find a new generation of readers."
"A compelling story of a young man who suffers and learns to make peace with who he is, "Tortuga" has that touch of magic, of fantastical characters, of dreams as real as sunlight, associated with the best of Chicano literature."