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Woman At Otowi Crossing

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  115 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Based on the real life of Edith Warner, who ran a tearoom at Otowi Crossing, just below Los Alamos, The Woman at Otowi Crossing is the story of Helen Chalmer, a person in tune with her adopted environment and her neighbors in the nearby Indian pueblo and also a friend of the first atomic scientists. The secret evolution of atomic research is a counterpoint to her psychic d ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published August 1st 1987 by Swallow Press
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Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I want to read a biography of Edith Warner, the 'real' woman at Otowi Crossing. Not action-packed but definitely engrossing. Obviously, the dialogues are from Waters' imagination, but I wish he had included some notes about the historical accuracy of happenings at Los Alamos and the veracity of the facts about Warner's life and relationships.
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I discovered The Woman at Otowi Crossing in the late 1990s. It spoke to me in such a way that I wrote the executors of Frank Waters’ estate to get permission to use a paragraph in the flyleaf of my own book Calling Our Spirits Home—and they graciously complied.

"So all these scribbled pages, Jack, are to help you understand that an awakening or Emergence, as the Indians call it, is more than a single momentary experience. It requires a slow painful process of realization and orientation… How ma
Robert Mitchell
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the benefits of reading The Woman At Otowi Crossing was that I was forced to admit that not only am I woefully ignorant about the American Southwest, but there is a ton of history, religion, philosophy, science and mysticism tied to an area I had written off as “that hot stretch between California and Texas.” Another confession: ignoring all evidence to the contrary, as a Washingtonian, I have always claimed Colorado as one of “our” states (i.e. northwestern), mentally fudging its locatio ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I simply can't believe that there are no other one-star reviews for this book. I initially chose to read it as part of a "trip west challenge" for which I wanted to read a book set in each of the states I passed through on a trip from Buffalo to San Diego. This sounded like a wonderful New Mexico choice. Two thirds of the way in, I have decided to find another selection, and those who know me, know that I seldom abandon a book!

I loved the concept of this story based on the life of Edith Warner,
Diana Biggs
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I forget what a wonderful writer Frank Waters is - definitely a Western man, love this book.
Gypsy Lady
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Terry by: Margot
Shelves: novel
Fantastic book about a woman running a tea house at the Otowi bridge surrounding the time of Los Alamos' atomic developments. Helen becomes aware of the illusion of time and the power of staying in touch with the power and permanence of self. The book is full of contrasts: Helen's old life and her life in NM; Helen and her daughter, the San I indians and the scientists. Because of Helen's peace and awareness, she is revered as a good witch. Water's message is that we have an inner world that is ...more
Kristine Morris
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A marvelous novel. A story about the development of the atomic bomb near Los Alamos and the spiritual awakening of a woman who is a true south western legend. The supporting characters are very strong, and the description of the landscape and southwestern Indian culture was enchanting. I was totally engrossed.

I was given this book by the owner of a B&B in Buffalo where I stayed last summer. Since I love Louise Erdrich, she recommended Frank Waters - and she happened to have an extra copy of
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it

Great book paralleling the life transforming spiritual awakening of Helen Chalmers and the life transforming event that was the beginning of the nuclear age. Both occurring in and around Los Alamos. One of Waters best.
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Parallel stories of a woman experiencing a life-transforming event, and the development of the Atomic Bomb at Los Alamos in New Mexico. A little mystical and metaphorical; a thoroughly engrossing book.
Alice Dawson
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book about New Mexico and the Manhattan Project.
Steve Hicks
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great spin on the early days of Las Alamos, NM.
Kate Stolz
Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing

one of my all time favorite books, this is a powerful parable for today. Mr. Waters is an American treasure. this is a reread.
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
Sort of a strange story, but intriguing in the way it looks at the era/place of the Manhattan Project.
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