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Zanjani, Sally. Sarah Winnemucca.

ZANJANI, Sally. Sarah Winnemucca. Univ. of Nebraska Press. 366p, illus, notes, bibliog. index, c2001. 0-8032-9921-4. $17.95. SA

Sarah Winnemucca (1844-1891) was a Paiute woman, daughter of the influential chief Winnemucca and granddaughter of Truckee, a Paiute leader who kept peace with the white man even after the murder of many in his family. Sarah's story moves from Nevada to California and finally into Oregon. As she grew, she became fluent in English and influenced many, working as a government interpreter and an entertainer, taking her one-woman show as far east as Boston. She even met once with President Hayes. Her life was filled with tragedy--massacres, wars, privation, many failed relationships--as well as with triumphs. She was a noted public speaker and established a Native school that was a model of educational excellence. She fought tirelessly against the evils of the reservation system ruled by cruel white agents.

In 1883 Winnemucca wrote her autobiography, the first written by a Native woman. She died suddenly and mysteriously; the cause of her death has never been established. A controversial figure, she had her detractors, but her final legacy is one of courage and steadfastness. Zanjani's biography is carefully researched and readable. Janet Julian, Grafton, MA

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Author:Julian, Janet
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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