Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mary Doria Russell  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1950 in Elmhurst, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Mary Doria Russell on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Russell was born in --- and grew up in Lombard, Illinois. She attended Sacred Heart Catholic elementary school and Glenbard East High School. She worked at the Helen M. Plum Memorial Library as a teenager.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mary Doria Russell has been called one of the most versatile writers in contemporary American literature. Her acclaimed novels are studied in literature, theology, and history courses in colleges and universities across the United States. Her novels have won nine national and international literary awards, including the ''Arthur C. Clarke Award'', the ''James Tiptree Award'', and the ''American Library Association Readers' Choice Award''. ''The Sparrow'' was selected as one of ''Entertainment Weekly’s'' ten best books of the year and ''A Thread of Grace'' was nominated for a ''Pulitzer Prize''. ''The Sparrow'' and ''Children of God'' have been optioned for Hollywood movies starring Antonio Banderas and Brad Pitt.Russell studied anthropology and paleoanthropology before teaching gross anatomy at Case Western University in Cleveland, Ohio. She began writing fiction after leaving academia.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The Sparrow
ISBN: 1423356276

Brilliance Audio. 2008

Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience―the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life―begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

Sandoz is a part of the crew sent to explore a new planet. What they find is a civilization so alien and incomprehensible that they feel compelled to wonder what it means to be human.

The priest is the only surviving member of the crew and upon his return he is confronted by public inquisition and accusations of the most heinous crimes imaginable. His faith utterly destroyed, crippled and defenseless, his only hope is to tell his tale. Father John Candotti has been charged with discovering the truth, but the truth may be more than Earth is willing to accept.

Children of God.
ISBN: 0375751211

Villard Books. New York. 1998

Thread Of Grace
ISBN: 0552772887


this is a book

Dreamers Of The Day
ISBN: 0385614543

Random House. 2008

"All men dream, but not equally," wrote Lawrence of Arabia. "Those who dream at night awaken to find it vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men..." Reeling from the twin tragedies of the Great War and the influenza epidemic, diffident, 40-year-old teacher, Agnes Shanklin has come into a modest inheritance enough to allow her to take the trip of a lifetime to Egypt and the Holy Land. But her arrival in Cairo coincides with an event that will change history. For it is 1921, and the Cairo Peace Conference will preside over nothing less than the creation of the modern Middle East. Neither a pawn nor a participant, Agnes becomes a welcome sounding board for the historic players - including Churchill, T. E. Lawrence and Lady Gertrude Bell - poised to invent the nations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and so decide the fate of the Arab world. It also makes her unexpectedly attractive to the charismatic German spy, Karl Weilbacher.As Agnes observes the tumult and tensions of nation-building, she is drawn more and more deeply into geopolitical intrigue and towards a personal awakening. Both enlightening and entertaining, this compelling, passionately felt novel illuminates both the rich history of the Middle East and what lies behind today's headlines.


''John W. Campbell Award'', Best New Novelist, 1998 ''Arthur C. Clarke Award'' ''James Tiptree Award'' ''American Library Association Readers' Choice Award''

Speaking Engagements

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