Arts + Culture » Literary

In Calamity’s Wake

By Natalee Caple (HarperCollins)

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"You won't find her human moments on any roll of film or on a postcard...." In In Calamity's Wake, author Natalee Caple tells her version of the story of infamous eighteenth-century Midwestern soldier Calamity Jane, in a manner equally fascinating, creative, and meticulously historically accurate. Written as Caple's PhD thesis, the story is rife with curious anecdotes and trinkets surely found in the recesses of some dusty small town archives. Told by multiple narrators and with poetic urgency, the story follows Calamity's estranged daughter, Miette, as she stakes out her own adventure to Deadwood, South Dakota, to find her mother, the notorious female drinker and sharpshooter of mythological proportions. Along the way Miette experiences her mother as a myth, a legend, and a product of oral history, but ultimately must create her own version of the truth. An engaging, original mirage in the desert of historical fiction.

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