Thomas Fox Averill is an O. Henry Award winner and Professor Emeritus of English at Washburn University of Topeka, where for 37 years he taught courses in Creative Writing and in Kansas Literature, Folklore and Film. He is the author of eight books of fiction including rode, Secrets of the Tsil Café: A Novel with Recipes, A Carol Dickens Christmas, and, most recently the novel Found Documents From the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr, all available from UNM Press. He lives in Topeka, Kansas.
About Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr: A Novel
Not just epistolary, this novel is archival, told entirely through journals, letters, photos, drawings, notes, and clippings left behind by Nell Doerr, who lived in Lawrence, Kansas, between 1854 and 1889. Although Nell seems so real you can reach out and touch her, she is a fictional character. The novel tells the story of her two stillborn babies, her move to Kansas, the loss of her husband in Quantrill's Raid, and her discovery, while hiding in her basement, of the fossils of ancient creatures in the foundation rock. In finding these specimens this unforgettable heroine finds herself, a woman unconventional and strong, a mother without children, a wife without a husband, a scientist without educational pedigree, but someone who nurtures her passion for nature and contributes to the scientific knowledge of her time.