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The time and place of Frederick Manfred’s birth—1912, on a farm in a corner of northwestern Iowa close to the South Dakota and Minnesota borders—gave him several perspectives on American life, resulting in the creation of several kinds of fiction. Manfred’s most celebrated novels, the five Buckskin Man tales, take place in the nineteenth century and have a wild west (mostly South Dakota) setting: they arose out of Manfred’s awareness of the dramatic and tumultuous events that had occurred near his home during the hundred years before his birth. But Manfred’s own childhood and youth in a settled agricultural community enabled him to depict, with a more somber palette, the subdued joys and struggles of twentieth-century midwestern farm life which he himself had directly experienced.