Woman of the People
Western Fiction
Pub Date: 01/01/1999
Texas Tradition Series
Price:        $19.95


Published by Texas Christian University Press

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A Book-of-the-Month Club selection, 1966

Woman of the People

By Benjamin Capps
Afterword by James Ward Lee

A Woman of the People is one of Texas’ best-known and most-respected novels. In this story of the Texas frontier, Capps dramatizes the capture by a Comanche band of a ten-year-old white girl and her five-year-old sister from the upper reaches of the Brazos River a decade before the Civil War.

As the narrative progresses, Helen Morrison slowly—and almost unbeknownst to herself—goes from being a frightened, rebellious white girl to becoming “a woman of the people.” Like many of the people who figure in true-life Indian captivity narratives, Helen adopts the ways of the Comanches, marries a member of her small band, and becomes a major figure in tribal life.

A Woman of the People parallels in some ways the real story of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was taken by Comanches, married Peta Nocona, and became the mother of the celebrated Quanah Parker, the last great chief of the Comanches. But unlike the real-life Cynthia Ann Parker story, where many mysteries abound, the novel takes the reader inside the mind of the main character, and we are allowed to grow with her as she forgets her white heritage and Helen and becomes Tehanita (Little Girl Texan).

Benjamin Capps is an award-winning novelist and chronicler of western life. Among his works are The Trail to Ogallala, The White Man's Road, The Warren Wagontrain Raid, Sam Chance, and The Indians and The Great Chiefs (Time-Life Old West Series).

What Readers Are Saying:

A Woman of the People is starkly psychological. . . . a work of high fictional art.” --A. C. Greene

“Mr. Capps's sparse, uncomplicated style makes the book a poignant work, well worth reading.” --Brian Garfield


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