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Western Americana

Western Americana Book List

Cover of 'Searching for Fannie Quigley'

Searching for Fannie Quigley
A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley
By Jane G. Haigh

At the age of 27, Fannie Sedlacek left her Bohemian homestead in Nebraska to join the gold rush to the Klondike. From the Klondike to the Tanana, Fannie continued north, finally settling in Katishna near Mount McKinley. This woman, later known as Fannie Quigley, became a prospector who staked her own claims and a cook who ran a roadhouse. She hunted and trapped and thrived for nearly forty years in an environment that others found unbearable.

Biography, Women · American History, West · Western Americana

Cover of 'Zane Grey'

Zane Grey
Romancing the West
By Stephen J. May

One of the century’s most enduring American writers, Zane Grey left a legacy to our national consciousness that far outstrips the literary contribution of his often predictable plots and recurring themes. How did Grey capture the attention of millions of readers and promote the Western fantasy that continues to occupy many of the world’s leisure hours? This study assesses the Zane Grey phenomenon by examining Grey’s romantic novels in the context of his life and era.

Literary Studies · Biography · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'DeVoto’s West'

DeVoto’s West
History, Conservation, and the Public Good
By Bernard DeVoto
· Edited by Edward K. Muller

Social commentator and preeminent western historian Bernard DeVoto vigorously defended public lands in the West against commercial interests. By the time of his death in 1955, DeVoto had published criticism, history, and fiction. He had won both the Pulitzer and Bancroft prizes. But his most passionate writing—at once incisive and eloquent—advocated conservation of America’s prairies, rangeland, forests, mountains, canyons, and deserts.

Environmental Policy · History · American History · Journalism · Literary Studies · Letters · Political Science · Western Americana

Cover of 'In the Work of Their Hands Is Their Prayer'

In the Work of Their Hands Is Their Prayer
Cultural Narrative and Redemption on the American Frontiers, 1830-1930
By Joel Daehnke

Westward expansion on the North American continent by European settlers generated a flurry of writings on the frontier experience over the course of a hundred years.

Literary Studies · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Western Americana

Cover of 'One-Smoke Stories'

One-Smoke Stories
By Mary Austin
· Edited by Noreen Groover Lape

One-Smoke Stories is a collection of folk tales from Native American, Spanish Colonial, mestizo, and European American peoples of the Southwest retold in the enthralling words of one of the bestselling writers of her day, Mary Austin. One-Smoke Stories introduces us to a multicultural treasury of character types: lovers, hunters, bandits, shepherds, miners, ranchers, homesteaders, missionaries, government offcials, and supernatural beings.

Legends, Myths, and Folk Tales · American Literature · Literary Studies · Western Americana

Cover of 'The  Apple Falls from the Apple Tree'

The Apple Falls from the Apple Tree
Stories
By Helen Papanikolas

The title of Helen Papanikolas’ second collection of short stories, The Apple Falls from the Apple Tree, is taken from an old Greek proverb and speaks of the new generation’s struggle with the vestiges of Greek customs. Gone are the raw, overt emotions of the pioneers, their bold prejudices, and, especially, the haunting black fatalism of funerals. Yet their children retain much of their parents’ culture.

Literary Studies · Fiction · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'Below Grass Roots'

Below Grass Roots
A Novel
By Frank Waters

In Below Grass Roots, the second book in Frank Waters's Pikes Peak saga, turn-of-the-century Colorado Springs is prospering with the mining boom and a growing tourist industry. Patriarch Joseph Rogier becomes ever more obsessed with the treasures of the towering mountain and tries to enlist his son-in-law Jonathan Cable in his mining schemes. Cable instead leaves for Navajo country with his young son.

Literary Studies · Fiction · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'The  Wild Earth’s Nobility'

The Wild Earth’s Nobility
A Novel
By Frank Waters

The Wild Earth's Nobility is the first of Frank Waters's semiautobiographical novels in the Pikes Peak saga. Here, in a frontier town in the shadow of the commanding mountain, the Rogier family settles near an age-old route of migrating Native Americans. In an era of prospecting, silver strikes, and frenzied mining, Joseph Rogier becomes a successful building contractor, rears a large family, and is gradually overwhelmed by the power of the great peak.

Literary Studies · Fiction · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'Pure Waters'

Pure Waters
Frank Waters and the Quest for the Cosmic
By Frank Waters
· Edited by Barbara Waters
· Foreword by Alexander Blackburn

The novels and nonfiction work of writer Frank Waters stand as a monument to his genius and to his lifetime quest to plumb the spiritual depths that he found for himself in the landscape and people of his beloved Southwest. In a career spanning more than half a century, he shared, through his many books, his insights and discoveries with countless readers across the globe.

American Literature · Literary Studies · Western Americana

Cover of 'The  Dust Within the Rock'

The Dust Within the Rock
A Novel
By Frank Waters

Based on one of the most significant periods in Frank Waters's own life, Pike's Peak is perhaps the most complete expression of all the archetypal themes he explored in both fiction and nonfiction. In The Dust within the Rock, the third book in the Pikes Peak saga, an aging Joseph Rogier clings to his vision of finding gold in the great mountain and his grandson Marsh comes of age in the Rogier household.

Literary Studies · Fiction · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'Word Rides Again'

Word Rides Again
Rereading The Frontier In American Fiction
By J. David Stevens

With much recent scholarship polarizing frontier novels into “popular” and “literary” camps, The Word Rides Again challenges the critical orthodoxy that such works have little in common, arguing instead that formulaic Western fictions can subtly (and even subversively) share cultural concerns with more highbrow brethren.

Literary Studies · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Western Americana

Cover of 'A  Frank Waters Reader'

A Frank Waters Reader
A Southwestern Life in Writing
By Frank Waters
· Edited by Thomas J. Lyon

Over the course of his life, Frank Waters amassed a body of work that has few equals in the literature of the American West. Because his was a writing that touched every facet of the Western experience, his voice still echoes throughout that region's literary world. Swallow Press is especially proud to present this generous sampling of Frank Waters's writings. A Frank Waters Reader encompasses the full range of his work and draws from both his nonfiction and his many novels.

Literary Studies · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Western Americana

Cover of 'Maverick Heart'

Maverick Heart
The Further Adventures of Zane Grey
By Stephen J. May

In 1927, at the peak of his career, Zane Grey bought a three-masted schooner, which he sailed to the Galapagos Islands, later journeying to Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji. As colorful as his characters were, so too was their creator. A consummate explorer, Zane Grey toured the world, was an acclaimed expert on salt- and freshwater fishing, and incorporated the sights and sounds he witnessed into his writings.

Literary Studies · Biography · American Literature · Western Americana

Cover of 'West of the Border'

West of the Border
The Multicultural Literature of the Western American Frontiers
By Noreen Groover Lape

Expanding the scope of American borderland and frontier literary scholarship, West of the Border examines the writings of nineteenth- and turn-of-the-century Native, African, Asian, and Anglo American frontier writers. This book views frontiers as “human spaces” where cultures make contact as it considers multicultural frontier writers who speak from “west of the border.”

Gender Studies · Literary Studies · American Literature · Western Americana · Women’s Studies

Cover of 'Stolen Life'

Stolen Life
The Journey of a Cree Woman
By Rudy Wiebe and Yvonne Johnson

The award-winning Stolen Life is a remarkable collaborative work between a distinguished novelist and a Cree woman who broke a lifetime of silence to share her story. Imprisoned for murder at the age of twenty-seven, Yvonne Johnson sought out Rudy Wiebe, the chronicler of her ancestor Big Bear, as a means of coming to terms with her self, her past, and the crime that defines her future.

Memoir · Native American Studies · Women’s Studies · Biography · Gender Studies · Western Americana