An Endangered Species

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An Endangered Species

A Novel

Frances Washburn

328 pages

Paperback

July 2024

978-1-4962-3867-2

$24.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Ms. Magazine's Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2024

Tom Warder, born on the Pine Ridge Reservation, works at the LaCreek refuge, which hosts the nation’s last remaining trumpeter swans. The refuge manager assigns Tom, who owns land adjacent to the refuge, to be the swans’ day-to-day caretaker. Tom’s land isn’t productive enough to make a sole living from it, so he leases grazing rights to white rancher Bart Johnson.

Bart has fallen into debt and is unable to pay the lease he owes not only on Tom’s land but also on land he leases from other Native landowners. As he sinks into debt his wife, Betty, becomes more extravagant and resistant to pleas for economy, while their son, Brian, becomes fascinated with hunting and begins stalking the trumpeter swans for the thrill of killing one. As his finances and his family fall apart, Bart takes to drinking. Meanwhile Tom’s wife, Anna, and three daughters struggle to make ends meet, though their eldest daughter, Bit, who often assists her father in the care of the swans, is bright and determined to become something. Where Bit is the hope of her family, Brian is the disaster of his.

An Endangered Species is a tale of two families, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, bound to circumstances largely beyond their control, and struggling to survive on the upper Great Plains during the 1960s.

Author Bio

Frances Washburn (Lakota) is emerita professor of American Indian studies and English at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Elsie’s Business (Nebraska, 2006), Sacred White Turkey (Nebraska, 2010), and The Red Bird All-Indian Traveling Band.
 

Praise

“Frances Washburn is a consummate storyteller. An Endangered Species, her newest book, is a poignant, tragic, and brilliant tale of two families, one Native and one white, trying to cope with changing times on the Northern Plains in the early 1960s. Washburn’s forte is character development. The reader gets to know not only the time and place of the story, but also what makes her characters tick. The book is a masterwork of prose, rich in simile and active in voice. The story moves artfully to its final, surprising conclusion. It is indeed difficult to put down.”—Tom Holm, author of Ira Hayes and The Osage Rose

Table of Contents

Prologue
1. Chapter One
2. Chapter Two
3. Chapter Three
4. Chapter Four
5. Chapter Five
6. Chapter Six
7. Chapter Seven
8. Chapter Eight
9. Chapter Nine
10. Chapter Ten
11. Chapter Eleven
12. Chapter Twelve
13. Chapter Thirteen
14. Chapter Fourteen
15. Chapter Fifteen
16. Chapter Sixteen
17. Chapter Seventeen
18. Chapter Eighteen
19. Chapter Nineteen
20. Chapter Twenty
21. Chapter Twenty-One
22. Chapter Twenty-Two
23. Chapter Twenty-Three
24. Chapter Twenty-Four
25. Chapter Twenty-Five
26. Chapter Twenty-Six
27. Chapter Twenty-Seven
28. Chapter Twenty-Eight
29. Chapter Twenty-Nine
30. Chapter Thirty
Epilogue

Awards

Ms. Magazine's Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2024

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