Set in fictional Chamiso County in Northern New Mexico, this charmingly and humorously told tale of bean growers against developers touches on the more complex issues of race, history, land rights, water rights, and community.
Nichols’ New Mexico Trilogy continues with The Magic Journey and Nirvana Blues.
But then one day Joe suddenly decided to irrigate the little field in front of his dead parents’ decaying west side home (which Joe still owned — in itself a miracle) and grow himself some beans. It was that simple. And yet irrigating that field was an act as irrevocable as Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Castro’s voyage on the Granma, or the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, because it was certain to catalyze tensions which had been building for years, certain to percipitate a war. — from The Milagro Beanfield War
Inventory of the John Nichols Papers
University of New Mexico, University Library, Center for Southwest Research