The divides that unify a Southwestern village

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Stanley Crawford writes about rifts between Anglo and Chicano neighbors.

by Alex Trimble Young High Country News

Dixon, New Mexico-based author Stanley Crawford defies most of the stereotypes of a “Western American Writer.” He’s more likely to wear sandals than cowboy boots. He owns a pickup truck, but his automotive passion is for working on impractical yet dapper vintage European cars; his most recent project was the restoration of a 1984 Citroen Deux Chevaux. His latest aspiration is to compete in the 2018 Brompton World Championship, a decorous folding-bike race held every summer in St. James Park, London, at which gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, shirt and tie.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the glee he takes in flouting the usual image of a Western writer, Crawford has earned a reputation as one of the most original and incisive authors writing about the region today. His memoirs Mayordomo and A Garlic Testament are celebrated for their droll yet humane reflections on how their author’s quixotic notions of the independence involved in a part-time agricultural career were upended by the complex reality he encountered: the communal modes of life and farming still practiced in his largely Hispanic community. But Crawford stayed on and adapted, and he has written and farmed in Dixon for nearly five decades now. His most recent novel, Village, chronicles a day in the life of San Marcos, a fictional village that resonates with Dixon as surely as Thomas McGuane’s creation “Deadrock” echoes the real town of Livingston, Montana. >>> Read the rest of the article at High Country News