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The Life of St. Francis

“In this superb critical edition, Horan has collected, edited, and translated the various prose texts that Gabriela Mistral devoted to St. Francis, a figure of utmost importance to the deeply religious poet and to the spirituality of Latin American literature and art. The inspired translation of Mistral´s idiosyncratic Spanish prose into English captures the rhythm and the delicate, lyrical quality of the original, a feat made even more admirable by the addition of an elucidating and comprehensive critical afterword. This is the definitive edition of a work that had yet to be presented in its entirety in such an organized and illuminating way.” —Santiago Daydí-Tolson, The University of Texas at San Antonio

“. . . Motivos provides a window into the literary, political, religious, and personal dynamics that shaped Gabriela Mistral's dramatic career trajectory from humble schoolteacher to Nobel Laureate. Horan's engaging afterword illuminates the presentist concerns that underlie Mistral's extended meditation on St. Francis's exemplary life. This edition is a boon to Mistral scholars.”  —Claire F. Fox, The University of Iowa

“In a scholarly yet eminently readable afterword that invites us to take another look at the Gabriela Mistral we thought we knew, Horan sensitively and convincingly reframes key questions about Mistral's attitude toward religion; her social and literary ideals; her sense of class and national belonging (or not); her ideas about education; her sexuality; and her complex relationships with peers, mentors, and loved ones. Queerly fascinating! A must-read for Mistral acólitos and lay readers alike.” —Susana Chávez-Silverman, Pomona College

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Gabriela Mistral
Elizabeth Horan
Author Bio: 

Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) was a renowned Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist whose prolific writings captivated imaginations throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, she received several honorary doctorates and the National Literary Prize in Chile. Her best-known volumes include Desolación, Lecturas para mujeres, Tala, and Lagar. Passionate friendships with notable men and women, appreciation of the natural world, and tragic events that prompted her to contemplate death all deeply influenced her work. Inspired by the motivo and its adulation of nature, she wrote several heroic biographies of exemplary figures from the past as related to situations in the present. One of the most beautiful is her Motivos de San Francisco.

Award-winning editor and translator Elizabeth Horan is a professor of English at Arizona State University. She has written extensively about Latin American women writers, with special emphasis on Chilean authors, and her many publications include Gabriela Mistral: An Artist and Her People, House of Memory: Stories by Latin American Jewish Women Writers, and the forthcoming The Secret Lives of Gabriela Mistral: Teacher, Nobel Poet, Diplomat, Spy.

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