$24.95 hardcover

Add to Cart

Guitars and Adobes, and the Uncollected Stories of Fray Angélico Chávez

Fray Angélico Chávez
Edited by Ellen McCracken

Fray Angélico Chávez (born Manuel Ezequiel Chávez) (1910–1996) was one of New Mexico's foremost writers and intellectuals, with hundreds of poems, articles, plays, stories, and twenty-four books to his credit. In 1924, at the age of fourteen, he traveled from northern New Mexico to Ohio to study and train in the Franciscan Order, becoming the first native New Mexican to be ordained a Franciscan priest. This rare collection of writings combines Chávez’s early fiction with his little-known novel Guitars and Adobes, originally published in 1931–32 in serialized form. The novel presents an alternative Hispano vision to Willa Cather’s famed Death Comes for the Archbishop. In both his writing and his art, this towering man of letters and the arts drew from his Catholic beliefs, his identity as a Hispano, and a rich well of creativity. A member of the Santa Fe writers’ group that included luminary figures such as D. H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, Alice Corbin, Mary Austin, and Witter Bynner, Chávez exchanged influence with his contemporaries during the heady times of the Santa Fe writer’s era of the ’20s and ’30s. Ellen McCracken, Chávez’s biographer and an authority on his literary legacy, introduces the material with an essay that provides considerable insight into Chávez's creative and spiritual paths. Included in this collection are original lithographs made by noted New Mexico artist Gerald Cassidy and drawings by Chávez to illustrate the stories.


Fray Angélico Chávez was an American Franciscan priest, historian, researcher, author, poet, and painter. As archivist for the Santa Fe Archdiocese, he undertook the cataloguing and translating of Spanish archives that allowed for a reevaluation of the history of New Mexico. His contributions to New Mexico history and literature earned him honorary degrees including Masters of Arts and Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. He is the author of the definitive work Origins of New Mexico Families: A Genealogy of the Spanish Colonial Period (Museum of New Mexico Press).

Ellen McCracken is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California (Santa Barbara) and author of The Life and Writing of Fray Angélico Chávez: A New Mexico Renaissance Man (University of New Mexico Press).

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press

6 x 9 in. 202 pages 30 black-and-white lithographs and illustrations