Elsie Martinez Trujillo Alcaraz, 'Naunny' to her grandson and communication scholar Nick Trujillo, was a working class woman, daughter of New Mexico Hispanos, and eventually the resident of a Los Angeles nursing home. She becomes the focal point for Trujillo's experimental ethnography of family relations, aging, and ethnic identity throughout the twentieth century. Collecting narratives of his grandmother's life, Trujillo learns how family members use stories to define the family's sense of itself and create collective views on intergenerational relations, social history, gender, class, and ethnicity. Through these stories, family photos, and his own recollections, supplemented with Elsie's letters and journal entries, the author is able to explore topics often ignored in life histories of the elderly-sexuality, body image, eating disorders, marital discord, mobility patterns, racial prejudice, and interactions with the health care system. Trujillo's presentation brings Naunny's humor, liveliness, and generosity alive for scholars and students alike and provides a vivid portrait of being Hispanic and female in the 20th century American west.
In Search of Naunny's Grave
Age, Class, Gender and Ethnicity in an American Family