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Three Books About Cowboys and Indians

Emily Wylie writes and teaches in New York City. On a horse, she's 8 feet tall.
Emily Wylie writes and teaches in New York City. On a horse, she's 8 feet tall.

"Three Books..." is a new series in which we invite writers to recommend three great reads on a single theme.

Maybe it was all that Little House on the Prairie and Hee Haw, but somehow I came out of a New England childhood suspecting that I was meant to be a cowboy or — even better — an Indian; I wasn't fussy. I just knew I'd work better in a life that involved spitting, horse sweat and bacon grease, a milieu with big views and no small talk.

So I made my own beef jerky from stolen roast beef and ruined table clothes to make teepees. But it wasn't long before I was all too aware that cowboys chasing Indians was the stuff of sorrow, not fun. I grew up to be the kind of person who says Native American, not Indian — shoot, the kind of person who says milieu. And if there's anything a cowboy doesn't do it's speak French.

But I still live my other life — at least when it comes to books. Here are my picks for three books that will make you feel home on the range.

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Emily Wylie