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Marianne Wiggins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Went South (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Separate Checks (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Herself in Love (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
John Dollar (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eveless Eden (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Almost Heaven (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Evidence of Things Unseen (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadow Catcher (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Properties of Thirst (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Bet They'll Miss Us When We're Gone (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of M.K. Brown Range Life Books

Life on the Texas Range (By: J. Evetts Haley,Erwin E. Smith) (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Still: Cowboys at the Start of the Twenty-First Century (With: Robb Kendrick) (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Marianne Wiggins
Marianne Wiggins was born November 8, 1947 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She has won a Whiting Award, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts award. She was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2004 for “Evidence of Things Unseen”. And according to The Cambridge Guide to Women’s Writing in English, Marianne writes with such bold intelligence and has an ear for hidden comedy.

In 1965, she married Brian Porzak, with whom she had a daughter with. Their daughter is a fine art photographer, named Lara Porzak The couple wound up divorcing in 1970.

She lived in London for 16 years, and for short periods in Brussels, Rome, and Paris.

After her second novel, called “Separate Checks”, was published in 1984, she was able to support herself and her daughter off of her writing alone.

In January of 1988, she married fellow author Salman Rushdie in London. On Valentine’s Day 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a Fatwa ordering the assassination of Rushdie for alleged blasphemy in “The Satanic Verses”. Even though Marianne had told Rushdie just five days before that she wished to end their marriage, she went into hiding with him. The couple divorced in 1993.

In 2005, she started teaching in the English department at the University of Southern California.

She had a stroke in 2016, leaving her unable to write or read. She regained these abilities and finished her novel “Properties of Thirst” over several years. She was assisted by Lara Porzak, her daughter.

“Evidence of Things Unseen” is a stand alone novel and was released in 2003. A poetic historical novel, set between the two world wars, tells the story of this American couple and Lightfoot (their adopted son). Fos, a chemist, is intrigued with constellations, bioluminescence and x-rays, comes back from the war in France and falls in love with Opal, who is a gloassblower’s daughter on the Outer Banks of N.C. they move to Knoxville, where Fos and his army buddy have this photography studio, and travel to summer fairs with Fos’ x-ray machine.

Opal inherits this farm on the Clinch River, they move once more, and live happily with Lightfoot, who’d been abandoned, until the property gets claimed for a TVA dam. In the year 1941, Fos gets this job at the Oak Ridge Laboratory Site X in the government’s race to build the bomb.

Their lives proceed from fascination and innocence with “things that glow” to the day in August of 1945 when the atomic bomb gets dropped over Hiroshima. However when Opal gets sick with radiation poisoning, Fos’ great faith in science deserts him.

Marianne’s writing is hypnotic and powerful, and the lives of each of her characters beautifully follow the arc of 20th century belief and life.

“The Shadow Catcher” is a stand alone novel and was released in 2007. This novel dramatically inhabits the space where present and past intersect with each other, seamlessly interweaving narratives from two different eras: the first of which is fraught with passion between turn-of-the-twentieth-century icon Edward Curtis and Clara (his muse-wife) and a twenty-first century journey of redemption.

Narrated in the first person by this reimagined writer called Marianne Wiggins, the novel starts in Hollywood, where some top producers are eager to sentimentalize the complex life of Edward Curtis as this sunny biopic. It has adventure, it has outdoors, and it has the do good element. Yet, contrary to the esteemed public reputation as servant to his nation Curtis had, the artist was a disappearing dad and absent husband. Jump into the next generation, when Marianne’s own dad (John Wiggins) would live and die in equal thrall to the impulses of wanderlust.

Were these two men running from or running to? Dodging the false beacons of legend and memory, Marianne amasses disparate clues, be they hospital records and pictures, newspaper clippings, and this rare white turquoise bracelet. All to recover those moments which went undocumented, and to hear the words that only the silent ones are able to speak. This novel is fueled by the great American passions for land, family, and love. It chases the silhouettes of our collective history into the bright light of the present.

“Properties of Thirst” is a stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A novel destined to be an American classic: a sweeping masterwork set during World War II about the limitations of the American Dream and the meaning of family.

Rockwell “Rocky” Rhodes has spent years now fiercely protecting his California ranch from the LA Water Corporation. It’s here where he and Lou (his beloved wife) raised Sunny and Stryker (their twins), and it’s also here where Rocky’s mourned Lou in the years since she died.

While Stryker and Sunny reach the cusp of adulthood, the country is teetering on the brink of war. Stryker decides to join the fight, deploying out to Pearl Harbor not too long before the bombs can strike. Soon, Rocky and his family find they’re facing yet another incomprehensible tragedy.

Rocky’s determined to protect what remains of his family and the land where they have lost and loved so very much. However when the government decides to build this Japanese-American internment camp just next to the ranch, Rocky realizes that this land faces much bigger threats than the LA watermen he has battled for years now. Complicating matters is the fact that the idealistic Department of the Interior man that was assigned to build this camp, who just starts understanding the horror of his task after it might be too late, gets infatuated with Sunny and entangled with the Rhodes family.

This is the story about a changing American landscape and is an examination of one of the darkest periods in this country’s past, told through the stories of the individual losses and loves which weave together to form the fabric of our shared history. Ultimately this is an unflinching distillation of our nation’s essence, and is a celebration of the bonds of family and love which persist against all odds.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Marianne Wiggins

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