John Nichols, Author of ‘The Milagro Beanfield War,’ Dies at 83

New York City transplant to New Mexico and acclaimed author John Nichols passed away at the age of 83 at his home in Taos. His daughter, Tania Harris, confirmed that the cause of death was heart failure.

Nichols’ novel “The Milagro Beanfield War” catapulted him to local idol status in New Mexico. This political allegory, published in 1974, tells the story of farmers in the fictional town of Milagro Valley who are denied the right to irrigate their farms. The novel became popular on college campuses and was adapted into a film in 1988, directed by Robert Redford.

Nichols was known for his unique writing style, which was a tribute to the mountains, mesas, high desert, and people of New Mexico. His other works include novels set in or around Taos, such as “The Magic Journey” and “The Nirvana Blues.”

Born in Berkeley, California, in 1940, Nichols had a cosmopolitan upbringing and traveled extensively. He attended the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, and graduated from Hamilton College in New York. Despite being physically unfit for military service, he pursued a career as a writer, penning several novels and essays.

In addition to his literary contributions, Nichols was also known for his cultural commentary, addressing the clash of cultures in Taos and the impact of class distinctions and occupations.

Throughout his life, Nichols remained dedicated to his craft, producing about a dozen novels, collections of essays, and books on nature. He eschewed modern Technology, never using a computer for his writing.

Historical Background:
John Nichols was a celebrated author known for his timeless novels that captured the essence of life in New Mexico. His literary contributions have left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the state, making him a revered figure in the world of literature.

In conclusion, John Nichols’ legacy lives on through his literary masterpieces, which continue to captivate readers with their vivid portrayal of New Mexico’s landscapes and people. His impact on the literary world and his adopted state of New Mexico will be remembered for generations to come.

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