Like Edward Abbey, John Nichols
has become identified with
the Southwest and with a style of writing at once highly polemical and
eminently readable. His classic novel, The Milagro Beanfield War,
brought the complex and highly charged social relations of New Mexico
the attention of the world; yet, like Barbara
Kingsolver and Denise Chavez, even his
passionate political works are filled with generous doses of humor and
compassion. John Nichols has grown from an irrepressible prep-school
graduate to a Southwestern legend and a symbol for Hispanic-Anglo
Nichols brings his readers face-to-face with the more
unpleasant aspects of rapid development in a largely rural region.
Nichols has been called a modern-day Steinbeck, and, like Terry McMillan and Arizona writer Alberto
his characters inhabit the racial, cultural, and class borderlands that
divide and define the American Southwest.
believed, if you're involved even in a very small struggle--in some
of infinity in a grain of sand--in your local neighborhood, that every
action has universal implications. I believe that if I struggle for the
rights of an acequia in Taos, New Mexico, that the ripple effect [will
spread] from that tiny struggle."
hear an excerpt on John Nichols from Writing
Listen to the half-hour documentary on John Nichols by David Dunaway below: