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New Books and Maps » Women of the West

Twighlight of the Tenderfoot: A Western Memoir

By: Ackerman,Diane
Price: $16.95

Fulcrum Publishing,1980.
Now back in print, Twilight of the Tenderfoot lets readers once more glimpse the backbreaking, soul-satisfying work of ranching. Growing up in rural Illinois, Diane Ackerman "knew" the West through film and television. Her abiding love of horses led her to one day seek to ride alongside cowboys on a traditional New Mexican ranch. "At 5:30 the next morning, I buckled on my chaps, and rode out to herd cattle for the first time in my life, not knowing exactly what I would find in an American past mine only by association, a landscape alien as Mars, a desert heat and physical labor so hard it leaves you aching all over."

As a tenderfoot-and a woman in a man's world-Ackerman undergoes an often hilarious initiation: but she is game and spirited, up to the challenges of red-hot chiles, Red Man chewing tobacco, revved-up horses, snakes dangling from brooms, and tough work well before sunrise. For Ackerman, and for her readers, what happened remains indelibly branded in memory. Papberback, 208 pages