Found Documents From the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr

Found Documents From the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr

A Novel

Book - 2018
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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 1854-1889. 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 those 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, and someone who nurtures her passion for nature and contributes to the scientific knowledge of her time.
Publisher: Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780826359308
0826359302
Branch Call Number: AVERILL T
Characteristics: viii, 206 pages ; 23 cm

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TSCPL_Miranda Feb 25, 2018

Thomas Fox Averill’s newest novel is rich in history, rooted in Kansas soil and driven by a strong female voice. Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr is fiction that rings of truth. It is a story told entirely through journals, letters, photos, drawings, notes and clippings left be... Read More »


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TSCPL_Miranda Feb 25, 2018

Thomas Fox Averill’s newest novel is rich in history, rooted in Kansas soil and driven by a strong female voice. Found Documents from the Life of Nell Johnson Doerr is fiction that rings of truth. It is a story told entirely through journals, letters, photos, drawings, notes and clippings left behind by Nell Doerr, who lived in Lawrence, Kansas, between 1854 and 1889. Nell moves to Kansas with her husband, an abolitionist working on the underground railroad. Nell has already lost two babies, and she loses her husband in Quantrill’s Raid. After so much loss she finds comfort in finding fossils and the pursuit of scientific knowledge. Through the documents Nell left behind, we get to know a resourceful, willful woman who bucks the conventions of her time to contribute her knowledge to the scientific record. Readers will get to know Nell, even as she finds herself through her work and the human relationships she builds over the years.

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