On New Year's Day in 1870, ten-year-old Adolph Korn was kidnapped by an Apache raiding party. Traded to Comaches, he thrived in the rough, nomadic existence, quickly becoming one of the tribe's fiercest warriors. Forcibly returned to his parents after three years, Korn never adjusted to life in white society. He spent his last years in a cave, all but forgotten by his family.
That is, until Scott Zesch stumbled over his own great-great-great uncle's grave. Determined to understand how such a "good boy" could have become Indianized so completely, Zesch travels across the west, digging through archives, speaking with Comanche elders, and tracking eight other child captives from the region with hauntingly similar experiences. With a historians rigor and a novelists eye, Zesch paints a vivid portrait of life on the Texas frontier, offering a rare account of captivity
Inspired by nearly forgotten family stories of a German-Texan forbear taken by Apache raiders at age ten, traded to the Comanche, and unable to readjust when forcibly returned three years later, historical novelist Zesch (Alamo Heights) changes hats to write a history of forced captivities on the Texas frontier. Zesch's thorough research includes accounts from several different families, both Texan and Comanche, which reveal how particular children adjusted to the severe and abrupt changes in their family, cultural, and personal identities as they were captured by Indians and subsequently seized by the U.S. Army. His writing vilifies neither the pioneer settlers nor the Native Americans. This modern and much-needed addition to Southern Plains Indian captivity literature (e.g., Carl Coke Rister's Border Captives, 1940) expands the compass of the entire North American Indian captivity narrative genre to include the odyssey of "white Indian" readjustment to frontier settlement life. Highly recommended for high school, public, and academic libraries. Nathan E. Bender, Buffalo Bill Historical Ctr., Cody, WY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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St. Martin's Press
December 26, 2005
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