Jim Fergus (1998)
Told as a series of journal entries, this work of fiction takes the premise that in 1875, when Cheyenne Chief Little Wolf proposed assimilating his culture with the whites by having a thousand white women “marry” into the tribe, President Grant agreed. The narrator, May Dodd, joins a trainload of women from the fringe of society (convicts, the mentally ill, spinsters, and prostitutes) traveling west to meet their fate. Fergus spins a good story, impressively conjuring up a vivid time and place as well as the mind-set of a woman thrown into a forbidding situation. An interesting “you are there” perspective on a sad chapter in this country’s Native American history.