The Shadow Catcher: A Novel

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jun 3, 2008 - Fiction - 323 pages
30 Reviews
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.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jphamilton - LibraryThing

What a way to start a new year of reading—with a great book! I've never read anything by Wiggins and this book was a delight. She is very inventive and brought a lot to the table about Edward Curtis ... Read full review

Review: The Shadow Catcher

User Review  - Sally Brock - Goodreads

This book was passed on to me by several others who found it difficult to grasp. I've read quite a few books that could be described that way. Those books are usually worth the effort to stay with, to ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
7
Section 3
21
Section 4
22
Section 5
25
Section 6
28
Section 7
33
Section 8
43
Section 12
167
Section 13
183
Section 14
204
Section 15
205
Section 16
223
Section 17
269
Section 18
309
Section 19
321

Section 9
51
Section 10
80
Section 11
155
Section 20
325
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Marianne Wiggins is the author of seven books of fiction including John Dollar and Evidence of Things Unseen. She has won an NEA grant, the Whiting Writers' Award, and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and she was a National Book Award finalist in fiction for Evidence of Things Unseen.

Bibliographic information