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Below Grass Roots
A Novel
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2002

In Below Grass Roots, the second book in Frank Waters’s Pikes Peak saga, turn-of-the-century Colorado Springs is prospering with the mining boom and a growing tourist industry. Patriarch Joseph Rogier becomes ever more obsessed with the treasures of the towering mountain and tries to enlist his son-in-law Jonathan Cable in his mining schemes. Cable instead leaves for Navajo country with his young son. Rogier, convinced that new wealth lies deep within the mountain, below grass roots, sinks his mines and what remains of his fortune ever deeper into the mountain’s granite.

As in the other two novels in this semiautobiographical saga, Waters’s masterful narrative draws on his own keen perception of the human condition to bring us this compelling tale of struggle and hope in the American West.

Pike’s Peak is composed of three condensed novels: The Wild Earth’s Nobility, Below Grass Roots, and The Dust within the Rock.

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Brave Are My People
Indian Heroes Not Forgotten
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1998

Pontiac, Sequoyah, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Chief Seattle. These legendary names are familiar even to the uninitiated in Native American history, yet the life stories of these great spiritual leaders have been largely unknown.

In this, his last book, internationally celebrated author Frank Waters makes vivid the poignant, humorous, and tragic stories of these neglected and heroic Native Americans. From the brilliant tactical abilities of famed warriors to the eloquent oratory of indigenous philosophers, poets, and statesmen, the profiles in Brave Are My People help correct this error of omission.

Now in paperback, Brave Are My People represents a major contribution to Water’s remarkable literary work.

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The Colorado
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1985

The vast Colorado River collects water from the highest Rocky Mountain peaks and traverses the widest plateaus, the deepest canyons, and the lowest deserts before emptying into the delta of northern Mexico. This austere land and mighty river resist exploration, settlement, and description. But in the hands of one of the West’s great writers, Frank Waters, the history and lore of its past make irresistible reading and a resounding case for mankind’s respect for the environment.

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Cuchama and Sacred Mountains
Walter Y. Evans-Wentz
Ohio University Press, 1981

W. Y. Evans–Wentz, great Buddhist scholar and translator of such now familiar works as the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, spent his final years in California. There, in the shadow of Cuchama, one of the Earth’s holiest mountains, he began to explore the astonishing parallels between the spiritual teaching of America’s native peoples and that of the deeply mystical Hindus and Tibetans. Cuchama and Sacred Mountains, a book completed shortly before his death in 1965, is the fruit of those explorations.

To Cuchama, “Exalted High Place,” came the young Cochimi and Yuma boys for initiation into the mystic rites for their people. In solitude they sought and received guidance and wisdom. In this same way, the peoples of ancient Greece, the Hebrews, the early Christians, and the Hindus had found access to inner truth on their own holy mountains: and in this same way must the modern person find the path to inner knowing.

Surveying many of the most Sacred Mountains in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, Evans–Wentz expresses the belief that the secret power of these high places has not passed away but only awaits the coming of a New Age. This new age, in accord with the oldest prophecies of our continent, will be a time of renaissance, the long–waited era of harmony and peace among all peoples.

This renaissance shall be uniquely American, a renewal based on the values so long honored by the Americans before Columbus, and so ruthlessly trampled by the “civilized” Europeans who overran them. No other race of people has been as spiritual in their way of life than the original Americans, notes Evans–Wentz. Perhaps none other has known such martyrdom. Yet the secret greatness of the Indian religion still lives, ancient as the Earth itself, yet ageless in its power to renew.

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The Dust Within the Rock
A Novel
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2002

Based on one of the most significant periods in Frank Waters’s own life, Pike’s Peak is perhaps the most complete expression of all the archetypal themes he explored in both fiction and nonfiction.

In The Dust within the Rock, the third book in the Pike’s Peak saga, an aging Joseph Rogier clings to his vision of finding gold in the great mountain and his grandson Marsh comes of age in the Rogier household. It is the early part of the twentieth century, in Colorado Springs, and the schoolhouse, the newsstand, the railroad, the mines, all become part of the younger man’s emergence into adulthood and self-discovery.

Waters’s powerful and intuitive style transforms the tale into a mythic journey, a search for meaning played out in the drama of everyday living on the vast American frontier.

Pike’s Peak (1971) is composed of three condensed novels: The Wild Earth’s Nobility, Below Grass Roots, and The Dust within the Rock. Some years after its publication, an interviewer asked Frank Waters whether it was autobiographical. “Yes,” he replied, “and no.”

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Flight From Fiesta
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1987

Frank Waters, whose work has spanned half a century, has continually attempted to depict the reconciliation of opposites, to heal the national wounds of polarization.

Flight From Fiesta, Waters’ first novel in nearly two decades, is testimony to that aspiration, emerging as a moving and masterfully–told story of two characters who must discover the potential for common ground between their personalities.

Set in Santa Fe in the mid–fifties, the story itself is deceptively simple. Elsie, a spoiled, self–centered ten–year–old Anglo tourist girl, has come to the annual Fiesta with her divorced mother and her mother’s lover. When Elsie runs away from her hotel, she encounters Inocencio, an old alcoholic Pueblo Indian now reduced to selling pottery beneath the portal of the Palace of the Governors. With childish cunning she maneuvers Inocencio into taking her away with him. In the wake of the child’s disappearance, as the local posse–mentality intensifies and Inocencio is suspected of kidnapping and perhaps molesting her, the frightened Indian flees to the hills, taking Elsie with him on a week–long odyssey through the mountains, towns, and pueblos of New Mexico.

Waters’ eye is precise, providing sharp visual detail on very page. His ear is flawless, especially in his rendering of the laconic and stolid Indian speech patterns. All through his book there is an immediacy and a feel for place and culture that cannot be fabricated but must be gained, as Waters himself has gained it, through a lifetime among these people, these towns, and these mountains. The reconciliation of the two fugitives of Flight From Fiesta serves to point, not didactically or allegorically, but emotionally and spiritually, but emotionally and spiritually, to the possibility of the grander reconciliation that Waters envisions.

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Frank Waters
Man and Mystic
Vine Deloria Jr.
Ohio University Press, 1993

“In addition to his accomplishments as a talented novelist, a thorough historian, and an excellent essayist, Frank Waters is that rare breed of man who has merged heart and mind early in his life and moved forward to confront ultimate questions. This dilemma of faith and heritage, religion and identity, and commitment and comfort has never been resolved intellectually. Even with profound faith and rigorous discipline of self, mystics have found it difficult to resolve through action and prayer…I look at the life and writing of Frank Waters…and find…a remarkable journey of inquiry spanning nearly a century and illuminating questions which I did not think possible to formulate.”

—Vine Deloria, Jr., editor

Contributors to this volume are Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., Bobby Bridger, Steven Wall, Will Wright, William Eastlake, Larry Evers, David Jongeward, Max Evans, Win Blevins, Barbara Waters, Rudolfo Anaya, Thomas J. Lyon, Joe Gordon, Robert Kostka, Charles Adams, Father Peter J. Powell, Quay Grigg, Alexander Blackburn, and T. N. Luther.

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A Frank Waters Reader
A Southwestern Life in Writing
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2000

Over the course of his life, Frank Waters amassed a body of work that has few equals in the literature of the American West. Because his was a writing that touched every facet of the Western experience, his voice still echoes throughout that region’s literary world.

Swallow Press is especially proud to present this generous sampling of Frank Waters’s writings. A Frank Waters Reader encompasses the full range of his work and draws from both his nonfiction and his many novels. It stands as a testament to his singular achievement and proof of the talent that established him as the foremost writer in the Southwest.

This collection spanning forty years of writing provides an excellent introduction for the uninitiated as well as a retrospective for those already familiar with this giant talent. His gift for achieving a delicate balance among the many contrary forces at work in the land and the people who inhabit it is as true and enduring as the region that inspired him.

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A Frank Waters Reader
A Southwestern Life In Writing
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2000

Over the course of his life, Frank Waters amassed a body of work that has few equals in the literature of the American West. Because his was a writing that touched every facet of the Western experience, his voice still echoes throughout that region’s literary world.

Swallow Press is especially proud to present this generous sampling of Frank Waters’s writings. A Frank Waters Reader encompasses the full range of his work and draws from both his nonfiction and his many novels. It stands as a testament to his singular achievement and proof of the talent that established him as the foremost writer in the Southwest.

This collection spanning forty years of writing provides an excellent introduction for the uninitiated as well as a retrospective for those already familiar with this giant talent. His gift for achieving a delicate balance among the many contrary forces at work in the land and the people who inhabit it is as true and enduring as the region that inspired him.

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The Lizard Woman
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1985

“The novel was begun in 1926, when I was twenty-four years old and working as a telephone engineer in Imperial Valley, on the California-Baja California border. During my stay there I made a horseback trip down into the little-known desert interior of Lower California. After having lived all of my early years in the high Rockies of California, I was unprepared for the vast sweep of sunstruck desert with its flat wastes, clumps of cacti, and barren parched-rock ranges. Its emotional impact was so profound, I was impelled to give voice to it with pencil and paper.”

— Frank Waters

First published in 1930 under the title Fever Pitch, The Lizard Woman is Frank Waters’ first novel. It foreshadows a theme central to Waters’ later work: that we must attune our spirits to the land to fully understand our places in the natural order.

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The Man Who Killed The Deer
A Novel of Pueblo Indian Life
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1949

The story of Martiniano, The Man Who Killed the Deer, is a timeless story of Pueblo Indian sin and redemption, and of the conflict between Indian and white laws; written with a poetically charged beauty of style, a purity of conception, and a thorough understanding of Native American values.

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Masked Gods
Navaho and Pueblo Ceremonialism
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1950

Masked Gods is a vast book, a challenging and profoundly original account of the history, legends, and ceremonialism of the Navajo and Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. Following a brief but vivid history of the two tribes through the centuries of conquest, the book turns inward to the meaning of Native American legends and ritual—Navajo songs, Pueblo dances, Zuni kachina ceremonies. Enduring still, these rituals and ceremonies express a view of life, of man’s place in the creation, which is compared with Taoism and Buddhism—and with the aggressive individualism of the Western world.

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Midas of the Rockies
Biography of Winfield Scott Stratton, Croesus of Cripple Creek
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1972

This reprint makes available again Frank Waters’ dramatic and colorful 1937 biography of Winfield Scott Stratton, the man who struck it rich at the foot of Pike’s Peak and turned Cripple Creek into the greatest gold camp on earth. More than regional history, Midas of the Rockies is a story so fabulously impossible and yet so painfully true that it commends itself to the whole of America, the only earth, the only people who could have created it.

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Mountain Dialogues
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1999

“Mysticism is peculiar to the mountainbred,” Frank Waters once told an interviewer for Psychology Today. And in Mountain Dialogues, available for the first time in paperback, the mountainbred Waters proves it true. Ranging over such diverse subjects as silence, spirits, time, change, and the sacred mountains of the world, Waters sounds again and again the radiant, mystic theme of man’s inherent wholeness and his oneness with the cosmos.

Writing in Western American Literature, Charles L. Adams said, “In Mountain Dialogues, we see Frank Waters acknowledging his sources—major influences on a great American thinker and writer. Waters weaves together threads of these influences, adds his own thought, and presents us with a truly cosmic overview. This overview is thoroughly that of an American ‘Westerner’; it also is one that merits international consideration.”

And as the Bloomsbury Review wrote: “Mountain Dialogues is more than just a collection of personal essays. It is an ‘evolutionist’s handbook’ for the sons and daughters of the new West, a guide for those who would transcend the limitations of Western civilization.”

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People Of The Valley
A Novel
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1941

One of Frank Waters’s most popular novels, People of the Valley takes place high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where an isolated Spanish-speaking people confront a threatening world of change.

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Pike's Peak
A Mining Saga
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1987

During the fabulous reign of Colorado Silver, innumerable prospectors passed by Pike’s Peak on their way to the silver strikes at Leadville, Aspen, and the boom camps in the Saguache, Sangre de Cristo, and San Juan mountains. Then, in 1890, a carpenter named Winfield Scott Stratton discovered gold along Cripple Creek. By 1900, this six square mile area on the south slope of Pike’s Peak supported 475 mines and led the world in gold production. Against this backdrop of frenzied mining and gold fever, Pike’s Peak tells the story of Joseph Rogier, a man who seeks and finds his fortune in Colorado, and then loses everything in pursuit of something more important.

Arriving in Colorado Springs in the 1870s, Rogier becomes a successful contractor and builder and helps to raise a little mountain town into the Saratoga of the west. He rears a large family and scoffs at the “alfalfa miners” chasing silver strikes everywhere. But with the discovery of gold at nearby Cripple Creek, Rogier is shaken and methodically squanders his prosperous business and all his property attempting to reach the “great gold heart” of Pike’s Peak.

Waters’ is a psychologically modern novel whose universal theme is expressed on the grand scale of the opening of a territory. It is both a marvelously colorful and detailed account of the days when Colorado boomed and Denver became a big town, and an allegory of one man’s furious pursuit of the truth within himself.

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Pumpkin Seed Point
Being Within The Hopi
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1973

Frank Waters lived for three years among the Hopi people of Arizona and was quickly drawn into their culture. Pumpkin Seed Point is a beautifully written personal account of Waters’s inner and outer experiences among the Hopi.

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Pure Waters
Frank Waters and the Quest for the Cosmic
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2002

The novels and nonfiction work of writer Frank Waters stand as a monument to his genius and to his lifetime quest to plumb the spiritual depths that he found for himself in the landscape and people of his beloved Southwest. In a career spanning more than half a century, he shared, through his many books, his insights and discoveries with countless readers across the globe.

Now, drawn from rare editorials, speeches, and essays that Frank Waters authored over the years as a reflection and a formation of his life-long themes, Pure Waters provides a treasure trove of exciting new material from this giant of the American Southwest.

In celebration of the centenary of his birth, Swallow Press is pleased to offer this new collection by one of its bestselling and most inspiring authors.

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To Possess The Land
A Biography Of Arthur Rochford Manby
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1993

Ambitious and only twenty-four years old, Arthur Manby arrived from England to the Territory of New Mexico in 1883 and saw in its wilderness an empire that he believed himself destined to rule. For his kingdom, he chose a vast Spanish land grant near Taos, a wild 100,000 acres whose title was beyond question. Obsessed, he poured more than twenty years into his dream of glory, and schemed, stole, lied, cajoled, begged, and bribed to take the vast grant from its rightful owners. With great mastery, Waters draws us into this obsession, and the intense drama of these years is at once psychological and historical. In May 1913, Manby came at last to possess the grant, but within three years it had slipped again from his grasp.

The story does not end there, and perhaps only Frank Waters could have portrayed the strange disintegration of Manby’s personality as he aged, his frantic but ingenious efforts to regain “his” land. Among these was the creation of a secret society which terrorized whole towns and villages, becoming so powerful that even Manby no longer knew all its members and workings. At the same time he turned deeper inward, locked and bolted his gates against the outside world which hated and feared him more than ever. On July 3, 1929, a swollen, headless body was discovered in Manby’s Taos home. Some said it was murder; others swore the body was not Manby’s; still others reported seeing him alive afterward. The story blazed into national headlines and an official inquiry followed. Step by step, Waters takes us into the web of strange clues, evidence, more murders and complications—an investigation which the New Mexican government inexplicably called to a halt. The case remains one of the West’s greatest unsolved mysteries.

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The Wild Earth’s Nobility
A Novel
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 2002

The Wild Earth’s Nobility is the first of Frank Waters’s semiautobiographical novels in the Pikes Peak saga. Here, in a frontier town in the shadow of the commanding mountain, the Rogier family settles near an age-old route of migrating Native Americans. In an era of prospecting, silver strikes, and frenzied mining, Joseph Rogier becomes a successful building contractor, rears a large family, and is gradually overwhelmed by the power of the great peak.

In Waters’s visionary prose, the story becomes a mythic journey to reconcile instinct and reason, consciousness and intuition, and the powerful emotions of a family struggling with its own dreams and human limitations.

Frank Waters (1902-1995), one of the finest chroniclers of the American Southwest, wrote twenty-eight works of fiction and nonfiction. Of Pike’s Peak (1971), the Chicago Daily News wrote, “It is a product of maturity, written with a sustained strength and beauty of style rarely found in fiction today.”

Pike’s Peak is composed of three condensed novels: The Wild Earth’s Nobility, Below Grass Roots, and The Dust within the Rock.

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The Woman At Otowi Crossing
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1987

Based on the real life of Edith Warner, who ran a tearoom at Otowi Crossing, just below Los Alamos, The Woman at Otowi Crossing is the story of Helen Chalmer, a person in tune with her adopted environment and her neighbors in the nearby Indian pueblo and also a friend of the first atomic scientists. The secret evolution of atomic research is a counterpoint to her psychic development.

In keeping with its tradition of allowing the best of its list to thrive, Ohio University Press/Swallow Press is particularly proud to reissue The Woman at Otowi Crossing by best-selling author Frank Waters. This new edition features an introduction by Professor Thomas J. Lyon and a foreword by the author’s widow, Barbara Waters.

The story is quintessential Waters: a parable for the potentially destructive materialism of the mid-twentieth century. The antidote is Helen Chalmer’s ability to understand a deeper truth of her being; beyond the Western notion of selfhood, beyond the sense of a personality distinct from the rest, she experiences a new and wider awareness.

The basis for an opera of the same name, The Woman at Otowi Crossing is the powerful story of the crossing of cultures and lives: a fable for our times.

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The Yogi of Cockroach Court
Frank Waters
Ohio University Press, 1970

In this novel of the mestizo, or mixed-blood, Frank Waters completes the Southwestern canvas begun in The Man Who Killed the Deer and People of the Valley. Set in a violent Mexican border town, the story centers on Barby, a tormented mestizo, Guadalupe, the mestiza “percentage-girl,” and Tai-Ling, the serene yogi. Their fates mingle though each remains alone—Barby bound to the brute rages of the night; Guadalupe unconscious of all save the sun of her sexuality; Tai-Ling believing it is possible to transcend completely the flow of life.

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