PULLMAN, Wash. — In 1999, Washington State University Press published the English translation of “Winnetou,” and put the best-known work of German author Karl May into the hands of an American audience for the first time in paperback. Now WSU Press has released a companion book, “The Oil Prince,” translated by Herbert Windolf.

The lively translation of the daring escapades of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand is suitable reading for young teenagers through adults, and introduces new enthusiasts to the heroism and adventure of the 1860s Arizona. The courageous blood brothers are joined by a wise but comical Yankee, Indian tribes on the warpath, ruthless outlaws, a naïve band of German immigrants, a dangerous crook and a gullible banker.

In the unabridged, beautifully illustrated and engaging saga, a gang of bandits stalks a wagon train and a treacherous con artist attempts to dupe a banker into purchasing a counterfeit oil reserve. Danger abounds and survival depends on having the fastest draw and the sharpest wits. Brawls, bravery and bold rescues all figure into the captivating Teutonic tale.

Karl May (1842-1912) is the most-read German author of all time. With a unique sense of humor, he brought to life endearing characters that have captured hearts for more than a century. Both idealistic and romantic, his novels were originally known as ‘travel tales,’ and have shaped the view of the post-Civil War American West for generations of Germans. They have been adapted for stage, movies, and even comic books. His fans have included many prominent Germans. Albert Einstein once said, “Most travel books I’ve read bored me, but never a Karl May book.”

“The Oil Prince” is 368 pages, and the paperback retails for $18.95. It is available at bookstores or can be ordered directly plus shipping from WSU Press by calling (800) 354-7360 or through its Web site at wsupress.wsu.edu.

The WSU Press publishes scholarly books with a cultural or historical relationship to the Pacific Northwest.