One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
I received your letter of 20 January 1876, accompanied by portions of your journal, and, in short, I'm not falling for it. They sound like they were written sometime in the 1990s, and probably by a man. While I found many reasons to come to this conclusion, the biggest giveaways were your obsession with penis size and the fact that your signature was followed by an AOL e-mail address.
OK, that was a bit harsh and if for some reason Mr. Fergus is reading t...more
Yes, the voice of Ms. Dodd, our heroine, protagonist, would be feminist (well sort of pseudo feminist) - does sound more 20th Century and less like a believable 19th Century even 'modern' woman but honestly, it kind of made the book more readable to me. I have no interest in hearing a modern writer trying to trifle through old English in a...more
The premise begins with a re-telling of the proposed "Brides for Indians" pact that went on in 1854, when a whole host of Cheyenne Native Americans came into DC and asked for 1000 white women to take back to the prairie. Their idea was that by impregnating the women, they'd put the Native American seed into Caucasian culture and thus assimilate it.
Ok, so that never happened. But for Jim Fergus, he lets his imagination roll with the idea that it did. Enter May...more
From Booklist, by Grace Fill
An American western with a most unusual twist, this is an imaginative fictional account of the participation of May Dodd and others in the controversial "Brides for Indians" program, a clandestine U.S. government^-sponsored program intended to instruct "savages" in the ways of civilization and to assimilate the Indians into white culture through the offspring of these unions. May's personal journals, loaded with humor and intelligent reflection, de...more
Publisher: Okay, let me make sure it has what we are looking for in a book. After all, the bulk of your previous writing experience appears to be for an outdoors magazine. Correct?
Author: Yes that is correct.
Publisher: Okay, is your book an attempt to write from a woman’s point of view?
Publisher: Fantastic, do you have the slightest clue or insight into women’s thoughts or emotions?
Publisher: Great! Is your book riddled with wom...more
Yes, after a lifetime of avoiding book clubs, perhaps its fitting that in my latest job one of my tasks is to lead a book club. And guess what the first title is?
On the plus side, it was a quick read. An amalgamation of cliches and trite characters (Noble Native Americans, uptight white people, a former slave who not only sings and dances good but is also the fastest runner in the tribe!), this is a basic tale of 1875, as the last Native Americans w...more
The basic story of the book I think is intriguing and could be the basis for a really good book if done correctly. I just think the author missed terribly here. The book is bogged down by dialogue, and crappy dialogue at that. He felt it necessary to write con...more
If I didn’t know before hand that this book was a work of fiction, it would have been easy to think otherwise.
(1996) by J. Will Dodd, editor in chief of Chicago’s city magazine and great-grandson of the (h) May Dodd, writes very convincingly. Thru the years rumors had circulated within the ‘family’ about the “crazy woman”, born 1850, hospitalized at 23 for a nervous disorder, then died in the asylum in 1876. Ancestral insanity, an embarrassment, was a well kept hidden little...more
This is another one of those disappointing books where the idea is really neat and the execution is incredibly bad. The main issue is how flawed the writing of the characters is. For one thing, he seems to confuse people having accents for people having personalities. There are Irish accents, southern accents, German accents. And he WRITES OUT the accents, which is supremely annoying. (He also sporadically writes things in French and then doesn't translate them.) On top of that, there'...more
1. I did l...more
I will start off by saying that I've never been a fan of historical fiction or books written as journals, but the premise of this book piqued my interest. I wasn't even slightly put off...more
Deep Breath. This book, which was a selection for my local women's book club, was a real disappointment.
The premise was great, as many other reviews have stated, creative and fascinating. "Primitive"/ "civilized", matriarchy/patriarchy/fraternity...all these concepts interested me. My expectations rose accordingly and then nose dived after a dozen or so journaled entries. Although I am not a historical fiction snob where everything has to be just right, this book stuck me as very Louis L'Amour f...more
When book club first selected this book, I was somewhat skeptical about it, since I hadn't heard of the author before, and usually don't read 'historical' fiction of this sort. It's pseudo-autobiographical nature usually would turn me off, but I found myself very immersed in the book, to the point where my fam...more
Strengths: interesting exploration of how people adapt to a completely different culture and way of life.
Weaknesses: 1) Some of the characters come off as stereotypes, the racist southern belle jilted at the altar, the Irish girls who are big drinkers and gamblers, the black runaway slave who...more