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Brave Hearted: The Dramatic Story of Women of the American West

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Katie Hickman

Friday 7th October 13:40 - 14:40 | Performance Marquee

Hard-drinking, hard living poker players, prostitutes of the new boom town, “ordinary” wives and mothers walking 2,000 miles across the prairies pulling their handcarts behind them, Chinese slave-brides working in laundries, or the Native American women displaced by the mass migration are among the lives examined by Katie Hickman. All have one trait in common: that of extreme resilience and courage in the face of the unknown. Their stories are more gripping, more heart-rending, and more stirring than all the movies, novels, folk legends, and ballads that popular imagination has been able to create.

Hickman explains, “Of all the books I have written it is the one that means the most to me. For every moment of heroic resilience, I found its counterpart in savagery and betrayal; for every story of hope and new beginning, I found another of suffering and death. But as I went along, I also came to realise that to make simple heroes or villains of either side is to make caricatures of both; to allow cardboard of cut-outs to take the place of their all-to-human complexities. This is their story.


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