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The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Subtexts — Donna Blake Birchell’s “Wicked Women of New Mexico”

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Posted: Friday, March 7, 2014 5:00 am | Updated: 5:08 pm, Fri Mar 7, 2014.

It’s no surprise that most of the sins chronicled in Donna Blake Birchell’s new book, Wicked Women of New Mexico (The History Press), from card-sharking to murder, are directed at males. Birchell’s collection of short biographies imparts a new respect for a certain brand of frontier women. When she reads at 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 8, at Op. Cit. Books, 500 Montezuma Ave., she’ll probably relate the story of Bronco Sue, a serial killer, jewel thief, and cattle rustler who could influence a judge by batting her eyes. Then there are the temptations offered in the chapter “Madam Millie and the Tarnished Women of Silver City.” In the introduction, Birchell writes that her intent “is not to glorify the lifestyles and choices made by the subjects of the book but to illustrate the strength of the human spirit and what people will do to survive.” Swayed by batting eyes or not, she leaves judgment to the reader. Call 505-428-0321.

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