Winter Count is a historical vel set during the fifteen turbulent years leading up to the infamous Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Turtleheart, a Teton Sioux, and his wife, Evensigh, a white woman adopted by the Tetons as an infant, are thrust into this history when they are ambushed by a Santee Sioux working as a scout for white gold miners. Turtleheart is tortured and left for dead, while Evensigh is kidnapped and sent to St. Louis to assimilate into white culture. Their struggle to reunite is set against the backdrop of escalating conflicts with the U.S. cavalry, the negotiation and breaking of treaties, and the formation of the Sioux reservation. Originally published in 1967, Winter Count is one of the few book-length works of fiction produced by a Native American to be published before the 1970s.
A Lakota born on the Rosebud Reservation, Dallas Chief Eagle (1925-1980) was a writer, painter, and community leader. Chadwick Allen is an assistant professor of English at Ohio State University and the author of Blood Narrative: Indigenous Identity in American Indian and Maori Literary and Activist Texts.