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The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman (Women in the West) Paperback – April 1, 2011
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This engaging biography examines the life of Olive Oatman, who was 13 years old when Indians attacked her Illinois Mormon family on its journey west; she was subsequently adopted and raised by the Mohave tribe. Mifflin (English, Lehman Coll., CUNY) tells Oatman's story, from the unorthodox religious convictions that led her family west, through her captivity and assimilation into Mohave culture, to her rescue and reassimilation. Mifflin engagingly describes Oatman's ordeal and theorizes about its impact on Oatman herself as well as on popular imagination. The author seeks to correct much of the myth that has sprung up around Oatman, owing partly to a biography written with Oatman's participation during her life. Mifflin takes the position that Oatman was almost fully assimilated into Mohave culture and resisted "rescue," and that her return to mainstream society was a cause of ambivalence, if not anxiety. Though Mifflin sometimes seems a bit eager to make this argument, her book adds nuance to Oatman's story and also humanizes the Mohave who adopted her. Recommended for general readers as well as students and scholars.—Julie Biando Edwards, Maureen & Mike Mansfield Lib., Univ. of Montana, Missoula
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Mifflin engagingly describes Oatman's ordeal and theorizes about its impact on Oatman herself as well as on popular imagination.... Her book adds nuance to Oatman's story and also humanizes the Mohave who adopted her. Recommended for general readers as well as students and scholars."-Library Journal * Library Journal * "Although Oatman's story on its own is full of intrigue, Mifflin adeptly uses her tale as a springboard for larger issues of the time."-Feminist Review * Feminist Review * "Mifflin's treatment of Olive's sojourns [provides] an excellent teaching opportunity about America's ongoing captivation with ethnic/gender crossings."-Western American Literature * Western American Literature * "The Blue Tattoo is well written and well researched; it re-opens the story of white women and men going West and Native people trying to survive these travels."-June Namias, Pacific Historical Review -- June Namias * Pacific Historical Review * "In The Blue Tattoo, Margot Mifflin slices away the decades of mythology and puts the story in its proper historical context. What emerges is a riveting, well-researched portrait of a young woman-a survivor, but someone marked for life by the experience."-Jon Shumaker, Tucson Weekly -- Jon Shumaker * Tucson Weekly * "The Blue Tattoo is well-researched history that reads like unbelievable fiction, telling the story of Olive Oatman, the first tattooed American white woman. . . . Mifflin weaves together Olive's story with the history of American westward expansion, the Mohave, tattooing in America, and captivity literature in the 1800s."-Elizabeth Quinn, Bust -- Elizabeth Quinn * Bust *
Top customer reviews
In my opinion the best part is a reprint of a letter at the end of the book written by Olive to her Aunt.