Fayette book discussion 1.7.09

Written by David Green.

Fayette’s book discussion group returns to a tale from the American west with the story “One Thousand White Women: the journals of May Dodd” by Jim Fergus.

The Thursdays@7 group will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 22.

Fergus’s tale follows the outcome of a fictional agreement between U.S. President Ulysses Grant and Cheyenne nation chief Little Wolf. Called “Brides for Indians,” the program traded a thousand American women for a thousand horses. The women were required to stay with a Native American man for two years and produce a child, at which point they would be free to leave, if they chose.

May Dodd was confined to a mental institution by her angry father, and she jumped at the opportunity to leave. Most of the women were rounded up from institutions and prisons.

Dodd’s journals reflect on the new life the women chose and Fergus’s writing is said to artfully describe the emotions of the women and details of life among the Plains Indians.

Extra copies of the book are available at the Normal Memorial Library circulation desk. Anyone is invited to join in the discussion or simply listen to the thoughts expressed.

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