The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman

The first modern biography of Olive Oatman, a white captive who was raised by Mohave Indians in the 1850s, The Blue Tattoo was a finalist for the 2010 Caroline Bancroft History Prize, a Best of the Best from the University Presses (2010 American Library Association Annual Conference) selection, and a 2019 Tucson Weekly “40 Essential Arizona Books” pick.

“Margot Mifflin has written a winner… The Blue Tattoo offers quite intense drama along with thorough scholarship.”
–-Elmore Leonard

“An important and engrossing book, which reveals as much about the appetites and formulas of emerging mass culture as it does about tribal cultures in nineteenth-century America.”
Times Literary Supplement

blue-tattoo“Well-researched history that reads like unbelievable fiction.”
—Bust Magazine

“An easy, flowing read, one you won’t be able to put down.”
–The Christian Science Monitor

Awards/Honors:
2019 “40 Essential Arizona Books” selection (Tucson Weekly).

2016 “Great Books on Women’s History” selection (UT Austin).

2014 One Book Yuma selection.

2010 Finalist: The Caroline Bancroft Prize (best 2009 book on the history of the trans-Mississippi west).

2010 The Best of the Best from the University Presses (American Library Association Annual Conference).

A 2009 Book of the Year: The Kansas City Star, The Anchorage Daily News, The Idaho Statesman, The Sacramento Bee, The (Tacoma WA) News Tribune, The State (SC), The Olympian (WA), The Victoria Advocate (TX), The (PA) Centre Daily Times, The Enquirer Herald (SC), The Modesto Bee (CA), The Tri-City Herald (WA) The Lake Wylie (SC) Pilot, The News and Observer (NC), and Pop Matters.

A 2009 Southwest Book of the Year.