Witness a true hero, a real Apache warrior, who fought to preserve his heritage.

by PRC Agency PR
Witness a true hero, a real Apache warrior, who fought to preserve his heritage.

Witness the creation of a new American Indian hero in "Ulzana", James R. Olson’s award winning novel. Olson has rediscovered a true Indian hero, a Chiricahua Apache warrior who epitomizes the best qualities of his tribe—courage, strength, and above all, a great knowledge and understanding of nature’s world. Although this novel is historical fiction, Ulzana was an actual person, the brother of Chihuahua, a Chiricahua sub-chief. The Apache life-way in this story is presented as it had actually been lived—the way Ulzana really experienced it.

The novel traces Ulzana’s life from his birth in the rugged Dragoon Mountains of Arizona, through his childhood, his training as a warrior, and his life as a husband and father. Ulzana was born when his people were the masters of a vast territory in what is now southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. His people had endured and triumphed during their two hundred year war against the Spanish who invaded the Chiricahua lands from the south. But now a new enemy invades Apache lands from the east, an enemy who will prove too numerous and tenacious for the Chiricahua to resist.

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When asked whether the novel’s sensitive depiction of Indian life, which differs greatly from much of the available literature, is accurate, Olson affirmed the story’s authenticity. He said that although millions of words have been written about the Apaches, they are probably the least well known of the major American Indian tribes. Much of the literary fiction about American Indians assumes all Indians have the same life style and heritage, which is obviously incorrect. Many books and movies about Western Indians still present Indians as they were portrayed in James Fenimore Cooper’s novels about the Eastern tribes. Olson speculates this might be because many authors simply don’t bother to do the research.

After reading Morris Edward Opler’s definitive anthropological work, “An Apache Lifeway”, which was based on interviews with Apaches who remembered how they had lived, loved, and worshipped before the Americans corrupted their life-way, Olson realized much of what he had believed about Apaches differed from the reality of Opler’s study. Olson decided to create a novel that described the Apache’s lifestyle as it had actually been lived. Then, when he found a copy of an 1885 dispatch General George Crooke had sent to the War Department in Washington detailing an amazing raid led by a warrior named Ulzana, Olson knew he had found the hook upon which he could build the authentic novel he truly wanted.

"Ulzana" won the Book of the Year Award given by The Council for Wisconsin Writers. The Border Regional Library Association (El Paso) awarded "Ulzana" the Fiction Award for literary excellence and enrichment of the cultural heritage of the Southwest.

"Ulzana" is part of a three books series Olson wrote about the Chiricahua Apaches. "Brother" deals with the Spanish missionary period, "Ulzana" covers the American Indian Wars, and "Injun" presents the unique final disposition of the Chiricahua Apaches after the Indian Wars. To have the most complete possible understanding of what the Apache became in terms of what they experienced, it’s necessary to read all three books of the Chiricahua Apache series.

One "Ulzana" reviewer wrote: “The details ring true which leads me to believe an incredible amount of research must have gone into the writing of Ulzana's story. I definitely feel I gained a deeper insight into what the Apaches were fighting to preserve when they were being forced from their land. While I felt the book was sympathetic to the plight of the Indians, I didn't get the sense their violent culture was being glorified or defended and I felt the author was fair in presenting there was good and evil on both sides. This was a great read!”

Another wrote: “I can’t imagine all the research that went into creating this novel. The chapters are short and there's plenty of action, so it's a real page turner.”

The Chicago Daily News wrote: “The novel does not romanticize the Indian. When the Apache sees what is happening, he reacts. There are horrible, grisly scenes of torture and murder, some involving women and children. Nor are whites invariably villains. Some—even generals—recoil from what they must do on orders. To repeat, this novel—by a white man—is gripping.”

"Ulzana" is available as an eBook, paperback, and audible book.

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Created on Apr 26th 2022 00:41. Viewed 119 times.


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