Mary Doria Russell

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Mary Doria Russell

Goodreads Author


Born
in The United States
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Member Since
November 2011

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Mary Doria Russell is an American author. She was born in 1950 in the suburbs of Chicago. Her parents were both in the military; her father was a Marine Corps drill sergeant, and her mother was a Navy nurse.

She holds a Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology from the University of Michigan, and has also studied cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, and social anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston. Russell lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Don and their two dogs.

Mary is shy about online stuff like Goodreads, but she responds to all email, and would prefer to do that through her website.

Photo by Jeff Rooks

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Popular Answered Questions

Mary Doria Russell Well, the fact that my first book was about Jesuits in space didn't exactly help! Getting turned down by 31 agencies was awful and I probably should…moreWell, the fact that my first book was about Jesuits in space didn't exactly help! Getting turned down by 31 agencies was awful and I probably should have given up, but ultimately it worked out. The Sparrow will be reissued with a 20th anniversary edition next year.(less)
Mary Doria Russell Oh, Lord! NO! Not that one. As you'll learn at the end of Epitaph, the movies of the 1940s-1980s present very inaccurate portrayals of what happened…moreOh, Lord! NO! Not that one. As you'll learn at the end of Epitaph, the movies of the 1940s-1980s present very inaccurate portrayals of what happened in Arizona in 1881 and why.

The best movie is "Tombstone" with Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp and Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. There are factual errors in that as well, but it's the closest to reality. There is a great deal of operatic violence at the end, but that's the way the American mythology about the gunfight has evolved. If you watch that movie, then you'll be aware of how the story has been simplified into Good Guys versus Bad Guys.

All the characters in Epitaph are real. I tried to be fair and compassionate to every one of them, but I was also writing about how the gunfight became central to American beliefs about the West. You can see how this plays out in contemporary politics, as well. I hope you like the book.(less)
Average rating: 4.04 · 188,926 ratings · 18,167 reviews · 9 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1)

4.17 avg rating — 55,900 ratings — published 1996 — 47 editions
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Children of God (The Sparro...

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A Thread of Grace

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Doc

3.99 avg rating — 13,612 ratings — published 2011 — 13 editions
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Epitaph

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Dreamers of the Day

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More books by Mary Doria Russell…

A clarification: Saying “no” to TEDxSantaCruz

I have been asked to clarify an earlier blog.


As was made clear within that post, I was invited to participate in a TEDx event. TEDx events are locally and independently organized and do not represent TED. I regret any misunderstanding.


I have been warned that I will be contacted by TED with a request to cease and desist. I have been asked to change my use of TED to TEDxSantaCruz. I have done so....

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Published on December 11, 2019 15:13
The Sparrow Children of God
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by
4.14 avg rating — 72,695 ratings

Doc Epitaph
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4.02 avg rating — 18,440 ratings

Related News

Her Favorite Westerns: Not just for gunslingers, the real Wild West comes to life in these five frontier tales recommended by the author of Epitaph.
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Mary’s Recent Updates

Mary Russell is now friends with Lynne Schepartz
Mary Russell answered Deborah's question: Mary Doria Russell
Yes, I spend time in Calumet, walking the streets, studying the buildings that date to the era of the story, touring mines, asking questions and loading up on research material from the local museum's bookstore.

There was a lot to learn about the... See Full Answer
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
Mary Russell made a comment on One day only!
" Try the other books, too! If you liked that scene, there's one in DOC that I promise will lay you out... "
Mary Russell made a comment on New Year, new book!
" Elaine, I don't know yet about an audio edition. I'm new to Simon and Schuster. And don't even know if to they have an audio division. All the other ...more "
Mary Russell made a comment on The Days of Awe
" Thank you, Edward. May you be inscribed for another year in the book of life. "
" Nope. It started out as God's Best Beloved. Awful... "
Mary Russell made a comment on Not on my watch.
" Let's hope so! "
Mary Russell and 8 other people liked Heather's review of Epitaph:
Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell
"A marvelous, epic, bittersweet novel. Mary Doria Russell uses a setting I know very little about and didn't think I'd care for (Arizona in the 1880s) as the backdrop for an absolutely fascinating story about history, friendship, politics, and diff..." Read more of this review »
Mary Russell and 9 other people liked Regina Lindsey's review of Epitaph:
Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell
"Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell
5 Stars and a heart

Let me start by saying that I resisted with every ounce of my being reading Doc. While you all know I adore history, I’ve never been a fan of this particular era. Russell’s description of this era as..." Read more of this review »
More of Mary's books…
“I do what I do without hope of reward or fear of punishment. I do not require Heaven or Hell to bribe or scare me into acting decently.”
Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

“How can you hear your soul if everyone is talking?”
Mary Doria Russell, Children of God

“There's an old Jewish story that says in the beginning God was everywhere and everything, a totality. But to make creation, God had to remove Himself from some part of the universe, so something besides Himself could exist. So He breathed in, and in the places where God withdrew, there creation exists."

So God just leaves?"

No. He watches. He rejoices. He weeps. He observes the moral drama of human life and gives meaning to it by caring passionately about us, and remembering."

Matthew ten, verse twenty-nine: Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it."

But the sparrow still falls.”
Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow

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