Women's Indian Captivity Narratives

Author:Kathryn Zabelle Derounian-Stodola
Publisher:Penguin Classics

This fascinating collection compiles 10 historical accounts — most true or claiming to be — of white women abducted by Native Americans. Captivity narratives played a large part in early America's colonial imagination; many included here were contemporary bestsellers. Time periods (1682-1892), attitudes, and literary styles vary dramatically — from Cotton Mather's sermon on Hannah Dustan who, in a startlingly savage episode, scalped her captors and escaped to freedom, to the critique of white culture carried out by “transculturated” Mary Jemison who joined the Seneca Indians, eventually marrying and refusing to return home. Derounian-Stodola's ample introductions further resuscitate an intriguing aspect of American history.

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