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ReadUP is a campus common read program. Each year a book is chosen for the LSC-UP community to read and participate in related events.

The Last Karankawas


Pick up a copy to keep at the library (B12.800)  - just ask at the front desk.


Borrow from Library: Print Copy | OverDrive E-Book (HCPL) | OverDrive Audiobook (HCPL)


About the Book

Kimberly Garza

Kimberly Garza is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas, where she earned a PhD in 2019. A native Texan—born in Galveston, raised in Uvalde—she is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The Last Karankawas is her first novel.

- Macmillan Publishers

Participate in campus events or join the ReadUP Discord to bring your read to life!

ReadUP Events

  • Oct. 19, 2023: Galveston Field Trip
  • Feb. 29, 2024: Author Visit & Book Signing

Read More Like This Book

Learn More About... Galveston & Ike

Learn More About... The Karankawas

Illustrated map of Karankawa historical territory
Karankawa Territory

The indigenous inhabitants of a strip of Texas coastal inlets, marshes, and forests from Galveston Bay to Corpus Christi Bay, the Karankawa were described as wearing breechcloths or nothing at all, revealing muscular bodies covered in tattoos and paint. The men were said to have frequently topped 7 feet in height, described as fleet of foot and powerful wrestlers. They coated themselves in a poultice made of either shark oil or alligator grease, which warded off mosquitoes and also gave them a pungent aroma. Their red cedar longbows were almost as tall as they were, and their strings sent steel-tipped, goose-feather guided arrows hissing with unerring accuracy through the bodies of their prey and combatants alike. And on top of everything else, we were told, the Karankawa were voracious cannibals. [...]


While you cannot libel the dead, this justification doesn’t hold up: The Karankawa are not extinct, and almost everything you thought you knew about them is wrong.

Examples below include

  • a letter written in 1836
  • a book originally published in 1891
Wallace, J. W. [Transcript of Letter from J. W. Wallace to Thomas Jefferson Rusk, July 1836], letter, July 1836; ( accessed May 2, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

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