A Pipe for February
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
284 Pages | 6 x 9 | 1 b&w illus.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Osage Indians owned Oklahoma’s most valuable oil reserves and became members of the world’s first wealthy oil population. Osage children and grandchildren continued to respect the old customs and ways, but now they also had lives of leisure: purchasing large homes, expensive cars, eating in fancy restaurants, and traveling to faraway places. In the 1920s, they also found themselves immersed in a series of murders. Charles H. Red Corn sets A Pipe for February against this turbulent, exhilarating background.
Tracing the experiences of John Grayeagle, the story’s main character, Red Corn describes the Osage murders from the perspective of a traditional Osage. Other books on the notorious crimes have focused on the greed of government officials and businessmen to increase their oil wealth. Red Corn focuses on the character of the Osage people, drawing on his own experiences and insights as a member of the Osage Nation.
In the new foreword, director Martin Scorsese reveals how reading A Pipe for February helped him better understand the Osage people and bring Killers of the Flower Moon to the screen.
"A Pipe for February is an extraordinary novel: evocative, riveting, moving. Charles Red Corn illuminates what the Osage people went through during the 1920s, when oil profits had made them fabulously wealthy and when they began to die under mysterious circumstances—systematically targeted for their money. This novel, exquisitely written and filled with revelations, will hold you in its grip and never let you go"—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon—a New York Times #1 bestseller—and award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker
“…the story is an enthralling one [and] Red Corn's loving descriptions of Osage customs and the moral dilemmas posed by their sudden wealth that make this book a particularly rewarding read.” – Publishers Weekly
“Prose filled with descriptive beauty…”—The Historical Novels Review
“A Pipe for February subtly weaves together some of the richest themes of contemporary American Indian Literature.” —Robert Warrior, author of Tribal Secrets: Recovering American Indian Intellectual Traditions
“Anyone off Osage background has known that there was a lot more to tell about the Osage murders. Having heard about those murders all his life from people who lived through them and knew the people involved, Charles Red Corn is able to supply the ‘Osage side’ of that story.” —Carter Revard, author of An Eagle Nation
“Charles Red Corn has captured the heart and soul of Osage County in the 1920s.” —Elise Paschen, author of Infidelities
“Thematically rich.” —Kirkus