The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Paperback)

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ITEM# 13287330
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    ITEM#: 13287330

    Margot Mifflin is an author and journalist who writes about women, art, and contemporary culture. The author ofBodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo, she has written for many publications, including theNew York Times, the New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, the Believer, and Salon.com. Mifflin is an assistant professor in the English Department of Lehman College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and directs the Arts and Culture program at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she also teaches.
    In 1851 Olive Oatman was a thirteen-year old pioneer traveling west toward Zion, with her Mormon family. Within a decade, she was a white Indian with a chin tattoo, caught between cultures.The Blue Tattoo tells the harrowing story of this forgotten heroine of frontier America. Orphaned when her family was brutally killed by Yavapai Indians, Oatman lived as a slave to her captors for a year before being traded to the Mohave, who tattooed her face and raised her as their own. She was fully assimilated and perfectly happy when, at nineteen, she was ransomed back to white society. She became an instant celebrity, but the price of fame was high and the pain of her ruptured childhood lasted a lifetime.

    Based on historical records, including letters and diaries of Oatman’s friends and relatives,The Blue Tattoo is the first book to examine her life from her childhood in Illinois—including the massacre, her captivity, and her return to white society—to her later years as a wealthy banker’s wife in Texas.

    Oatman’s story has since become legend, inspiring artworks, fiction, film, radio plays, and even an episode ofDeath Valley Days starring Ronald Reagan. Its themes, from the perils of religious utopianism to the permeable border between civilization and savagery, are deeply rooted in the American psyche. Oatman’s blue tattoo was a cultural symbol that evoked both the imprint of her Mohave past and the lingering scars of westward expansion. It also served as a reminder of her deepest secret, fully explored here for the first time: she never wanted to go home.

    Specs

    ISBN 9780803235175
    Genre BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Historical
    Format Paperback
    Pages 268
    Publisher Date 2011-04-01 00:00:00.0
    Publisher Bison Books
    Copyright Year 2011
    Height 8.25 in
    Wdth 5.25 in
    Thickness 0.75 in
    Unit weight 0.8 lb
    Language English
    Subtitle The Life of Olive Oatman
    Series Name Women in the West
    Edition Detail Reprint
    Audience General/trade
    Authors Mifflin, Margot
    Country of Origin United States
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