The Shadow Catcher by Marianne Wiggins
A Novel

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Following her National Book Award finalist, Evidence of Things Unseen, Marianne Wiggins turns her extraordinary literary imagination to the American West, where the life of legendary photographer Edward S. Curtis is the basis for a resonant exploration of history and family, landscape and legacy.

The Shadow Catcher dramatically inhabits the space where past and present intersect, seamlessly interweaving narratives from two different eras: the first fraught passion between turn-of-the-twentieth-century icon Edward Curtis (1868-1952) and his muse-wife, Clara; and a twenty-first-century journey of redemption.

Narrated in the first person by a reimagined writer named Marianne Wiggins, the novel begins in Hollywood, where top producers are eager to sentimentalize the complicated life of Edward Curtis as a sunny biopic: "It's got the outdoors. It's got adventure. It's got the do-good element." Yet, contrary to Curtis's esteemed public reputation as servant to his nation, the artist was an absent husband and disappearing father. Jump to the next generation, when Marianne's own father, John Wiggins (1920-1970), would live and die in equal thrall to the impulse of wanderlust.

Were the two men running from or running to? Dodging the false beacons of memory and legend, Marianne amasses disparate clues -- photographs and hospital records, newspaper clippings and a rare white turquoise bracelet -- to recover those moments that went unrecorded, "to hear the words only the silent ones can speak." The Shadow Catcher, fueled by the great American passions for love and land and family, chases the silhouettes of our collective history into the bright light of the present.

About Marianne Wiggins

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Marianne Wiggins is the author of seven books of fiction including Almost Heaven, John Dollar, and Separate Checks. She has won an NEA grant, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.
Published June 5, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 348 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Shadow Catcher

Publishers Weekly

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Wiggins (Evidence of Things Unseen , etc.) takes a magnificently Sebald-like approach to fictionalizing the life of photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868–

Apr 16 2007 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

The New York Times

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A novel about a novel about a famous Wild West photographer.

Jul 01 2007 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

Book Reporter

THE SHADOW CATCHER is a pentimento --- the further you.

Sep 01 2014 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel


His story - as told from the point of view of his wife Clara, who divorced him rancorously after bearing and raising his children - is the main narrative thread of the book.

Sep 01 2014 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Los Angeles Time 4 of 5 Stars"You wouldn’t know from reading The Shadow Catcher that Marianne Wiggins is one of our most adventuresome and enterprising novelists, an author who has wrestled time and time again with strange settings, shattering events, questions of survival and its costs.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

Trudy Rubin

Author of two collections of short stories and seven novels – including the breathtaking, National Book Award- and Pulitzer-nominated “Evidence of Things Unseen,” about the advent of the nuclear age – Wiggins uses a two-pronged approach to explore the life of the legendary western photographer Ed...

Jul 01 2007 | Read Full Review of The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

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