New Mexico's first Franciscan priest, Fray Angelico Cheavez (1910-1996) is known as a prolific historian, a literary and artistic figure, and an intellectual who played a vital role in Santa Fe's community of writers. The original essays collected here explore his wide-ranging cultural production: fiction, poetry, architectural restoration, journalism, genealogy, translation, and painting and drawing. Several essays discuss his approach to history, his archival research, and the way in which he re-centers ethnic identity in the prevalent Anglo-American master historical narrative. Others examine how he used fiction to bring history alive and combined visual and verbal elements to enhance his narratives. Two essays explore Chavez's profession as a friar. The collection ends with recollections by Thomas E. Chavez, historian and Fray Angelico's nephew.
Readers familiar with Chavez's work as well as those learning about it for the first time will find much that surprises and informs in these essays.