“The characters I'm most emotionally involved with are like friends you leave behind when you move away. You don't see them regularly anymore, but you still love them and keep in touch.” – Mary Doria Russell
Born in Illinois on this date in 1950, Russell is the author of numerous novels in several genres and has earned acclaim in them all. Author of a pair of my all-time favorite historical fiction works, Doc and Epitaph – about the notorious gunfighter, gambler and dentist John Henry “Doc” Holiday, she planned to be an anthropologist but got “sidetracked” into a writing career that has been lauded for its meticulous attention to detail and “fine prose.”
One of the few people to have a high school English Honor Society Chapter (Lombard, IL) named in her honor, she started writing science fiction, winning the Arthur C. Clarke Award for her “Sparrow” series.
Also a well-known and much sought-after speaker, her most recent book is The Women of the Copper Country set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the first unionized strike against that area’s copper industry in the 19-teens.
“I had a doctorate in biological
anthropology. I got a post-doc at CWRU dental school in 1983 teaching gross
anatomy,” she says of her interest in many different genres and eras.
“Maybe if I'd studied writing instead of anthropology, I'd be more sensible. You know - pick a genre, follow the rules, stay in the box - but let's face it. Sensible people don't major in anthropology.”