Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Mar. 9: Haniel Long, American writer of the Southwest


Haniel Clark Long (1888-1956) was an American poet, novelist, publisher, and academic. Born in Burma of American missionaries, he returned to the states at age three and, a married man and father, moved to Santa Fe for health reasons in his early forties. And there he stayed, promoting New Mexican authors and publishing more of his own poetry until, in 1936, he published his novella Interlinear to Cabeza de Vaca. This is a fictionalized account of the true story of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish conquistador who was shipwrecked in Florida in 1528 near what is now Galveston, Texas, and set out with four other survivors to walk back to Mexico, where the arrived in 1536, having been the first Europeans to traverse parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. He brought back stories of Cibola, the fabled "Seven Cities of Gold," which spurred the vast explorations of Francisco Vazquez de Coronado. Though Long wrote many more books, notably Pinon Country--which depicts the colorful people and the landscape of the Southwest--Interlinear (also called The Power Within Us) remains the book for which he's best known.


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