Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
DEATH COMES FOR THE ARCHBISHOP – Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy envisions a yellow stone church on the Santa Fe plaza. The book follows his life and the construction of the Cathedral Basilica. In Willa Cather’s ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop’, she gracefully describes the haunted beauty of New Mexico. The landscape is desolate and rich in culture, including characters that are greedy/ gluttonous priests, along with sympathetic descriptions of the Hopi and Navajo. The book (which appears on several best-of lists) is episodic is scope. The author successfully describes grand visual details of the region that are like nowhere else. Such that New Mexico culture becomes a character in its own right.
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SANTA FE PLAZA – The history of the plaza dates back to the era of the Spanish conquistadores along the El Camino Real. The architecture is traditional adobe, with the exception of the Cathedral Basilica, built of yellow limestone chosen by Archbishop Lamy. Like much of New Mexico, there are a combination of cultural influences, including Spanish, Native American, New Mexican and European. Fantastic art, jewelry, galleries and food are a feast for the senses. The literary influences of Santa Fe are rugged and individualistic, such as ‘Death Comes for the Archbishop’ by Willa Cather, one of my favorite books. Visit at Christmas, when the night time plaza glows with farolitos and luminarias.
LITCRAWL – Join the Alabama Street Writers Group at Litcrawl at City Art Gallery (828 Valencia Street in San Francisco) at 7PM on October 18th. Crossroads: Words + Art. Members read brief selections, eat/ drink snacks/ beverages and authors will meet-and-greet, at the end of the presentation.