A 1962 graduate of Hamilton, Nichols achieved international acclaim with the publication of his novel The Sterile Cuckoo in 1964. His other novels include The Wizard of Loneliness and his most popular work The Milagro Beanfield War, a story of the struggles of poor Chicanos to preserve their land and rights against powerful business interests.
Nichols settled in New Mexico in the late 1960s. Since then, he has written several books on the life and times of modern New Mexicans. In addition to his fiction works, he has also published several non-fiction books. He wrote the text for If Mountains Die, and The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn, two books of photography on New Mexico. He is a popular essayist, and highly regarded political speaker. Although each of his books have a different emphasis, he said that "they all deal with questions of land, cultural ethics, problems of ecology, economics, history and human survival." His most recent work, Keep it Simple: In Defense of the Earth is an essay on the need for simplicity as a prerequisite not only for the health of the self, but also for the planet.
Three of Nichols' novels have been made into major motion pictures. Public showings of the films will be held in conjunction with his visit. The Sterile Cuckoo and The Wizard of Loneliness will be shown as a double feature on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirner-Johnson Red Pit. The Milagro Beanfield War will be shown on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kirner-Johnson Red Pit. Admission is free and open to the public.