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Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell was born in 1950 in the suburbs of Chicago. Her parents were both in the military; her father was a Marine Corps drill sergeant, and her mother was a Navy nurse. She holds a Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology from the University of Michigan, and has also studied cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, and social anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston. Russell lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband and their two dogs. Russell’s first novel, The Sparrow (1996), was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by Entertainment Weekly and won the Arthur C. Clarke Prize, the British Science Fiction for Best Novel in 1998. The sequel, Children of God (1998), won the Friends of the Library USA Reader’s Choice Award, and was nominated for the Hugo Award, Best Novel in 1999. A Thread of Grace (2005) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Dreamers of the Day (2008) was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; it is one of the few novels about the Middle East praised in both Turkey and Israel. Doc, her fictional biography of Doc Holliday, was one of the Washington Post’s Three Best Novels of 2011.
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The Sparrow: A deep space exploration of new worlds and the meaning of religion

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The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

Not one sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. ~Matthew 10:29

I thoroughly enjoyed this expansive story of space travel and first contact. The Sparrow (1996), a multiple award-winning novel from Mary Doria Russell and the first book in THE SPARROW duology, is wonderfully deep in its exploration of culture clash and how individual experiences, both spiritual and physical, shape those interactions. Russell is at her best in bringing her characters to life and deftly creating three dimensional imagery that are at once understandable, real, and relatable.

The story revolves around a Jesuit priest, Sandoz, who returns from a Mission to a far planet, alone, barely alive, and deeply changed from the man that left. Russell bounces back and forth between ... Read More