In Rudolfo Anayas Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall, Shaman Winter, and Jemez Spring, the protagonist—Sonny Baca—undertakes a murder investigation that ultimately leads him to confront Raven, a mysterious figure whose acts of violence threaten the social fabric of Albuquerque, the American Southwest, and the entire world. In battling Raven, Sonny comes to realize that both he and his foe have the ability to access a spiritual power that takes root in the myths and belief systems of various cultures, including Sonny's Chicano community, Native American peoples of the region, and ancient civilizations throughout the world, from which Sonny draws power as he becomes a shaman and healer. This dissertation explores how Anaya presents Sonny's transformation as a model for self-empowerment in the face of colonial and neo-colonial violence. Tracing postcolonial theory, border studies, and contemporary discussions of trickster figures in Native cultures, this study argues that Anaya confronts both the genre expectations of the detective novel and the implicit racism and discrimination that continue to pervade cross-cultural interactions in the Southwest.'
Level of Degree
First Committee Member (Chair)
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Rudolfo Anaya, Chicana/o literature, Trickster, Curanderismo, Postcolonial theory, Native American studies
Turner, Roy. "'A Moment of Magic': Coyote, Tricksterism, and the Role of the Shaman in Rudolfo Anaya's Sonny Baca Novels." (2013). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/engl_etds/22