Books by Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell is the author of five novels, which have won nine literary awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the James Tiptree Award. Russell currently lives near Cleveland with her husband Don and two dogs, one of which inspired the canine character of Rosie in Dreamers of the Day. Kirkus called Russell's most recent novel, Doc, "philosophically rich and deeply moving—a magnificent read." Photo credit: Dina Rossi

Released: Aug. 6, 2019

"Historical fiction that feels uncomfortably relevant today."
Russell (Epitaph, 2015, etc.) offers a lesson in American labor relations in this fictional portrait of Anna Klobuchar Clements, a 25-year-old miner's wife who led a wildcat strike against the large Calumet, Michigan, copper mining company Calumet & Hecla in 1913. Read full book review >
EPITAPH by Mary Doria Russell
Released: March 3, 2015

"Despite all that has been written and filmed about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, Russell's pointedly anti-epic anti-romance is so epic and romantic that it whets the reader's appetite for more."
Russell follows up her fictional portrait of Doc Holliday (Doc, 2011) with this fictional deconstruction of the shootout at the O.K. Corral.Read full book review >
DOC by Mary Doria Russell
Released: May 3, 2011

"Filled with action and humor yet philosophically rich and deeply moving—a magnificent read."
Doc Holliday is the tragic hero in this terrific bio-epic set in a revisionist version of the Old West—more realistic yet more riveting than any movie or TV western. Read full book review >
DREAMERS OF THE DAY by Mary Doria Russell
Released: March 1, 2008

"An inspired fictional study of political folly."
A remarkably vivid account of a woman's accidental witness to history as she encounters Churchill and T.E. Lawrence in Cairo, where in 1921 they redrew the map of the Middle East. Read full book review >
A THREAD OF GRACE by Mary Doria Russell
Released: Feb. 8, 2005

"Beautiful, noble, fascinating, and almost unbearably sad."
Stateless Jews find refuge in the valleys of northwest Italy, thanks to the humanity of supposedly thick-witted peasants: a rich, rewarding, and well-researched tale of WWII. Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF GOD by Mary Doria Russell
Released: March 25, 1998

Sequel to The Sparrow (1996), Russell's account of a 21st- century Jesuit-led expedition to planet Rakhat with its two intelligent, kangaroo-like alien races, the carnivorous Jana'ata and their prey, the enslaved Runa. Broken, beset by terrible nightmares, Emilio Sandoz—the expedition's sole survivor—has returned to Earth, where he rejects the Jesuits and the priesthood and falls in love with Gina Giuliani and her four-year-old daughter Celestina. Still, for a variety of reasons the Jesuits (as well as the Pope) pressure Sandoz toward agreeing to return to Rakhat. But even when Sandoz discovers that another expedition member, Sofia Mendes, also survived, he refuses to go. On Rakhat, meanwhile, changes continue. The merchant Supaari, who broke Sandoz and sold him, rejects the Jana'ata lifestyle and takes his supposedly deformed daughter into the forest. Jana'ata poet Hlavin Kitheri, who bought Sandoz in order to rape him, slaughters all his relatives, blames Supaari, and tries to build a society based on ability, not inherited rank. Sofia Mendes, hiding in the forest with the Runa she incited to rebel, gives birth to Isaac, an autistic child with an uncanny musical talent, and supplies the Runa with advanced technology so that they can continue the revolt against their Jana'ata overlords. On Earth, Sandoz is shanghaied aboard the Jesuits' new ship (thanks to relativistic effects, he will never see Gina again), which arrives at Rakhat just in time to prevent the extermination of the Jana'ata by the Sofia-led Runa. Finally, Sandoz will return to Earth, free at last of his nightmares, to meet the daughter he never knew he had. A brutal and deliberate tale, its characters rather too forgiving to be wholly human, that will challenge and sometimes shred the reader's preconceptions. (First printing of 50,000; Book- of-the-Month selection; author tour) Read full book review >
THE SPARROW by Mary Doria Russell
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Shades of Wells, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Arthur C. Clarke, with just a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs—and yet strikingly original, even so. (Book- of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club selection)"
Brilliant first novel about the discovery of extraterrestrial life and the voyage of a party of Jesuit missionaries to Alpha Centauri. Read full book review >