The Lilly Library continues to develop an impressive collection of Indiana authors’ manuscripts, most recently with the processing of the Sanders, Scott Russell mss. and the Thom, James Alexander mss.
Indiana University professor Scott Russell Sanders has enjoyed a long and successful writing career. His twenty books include novels, collections of short stories, collections of essays and personal nonfiction. His writing often explores the human place in nature, the character of community, the relation between culture and geography, and the search for a spiritual path. Sanders has won the Indiana Authors Award, the Mark Twain Award, and several other accolades for his literary achievements; his 2006 memoir, A Private History of Awe, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The Sanders, Scott Russell mss. documents his writing career and provides insight into his writing, his editing, and his publishing history. In addition to an extensive series of correspondence written to Sanders, the collection also contains a letter written by Sanders to Joyce Carol Oates, as well as a letter of recommendation, written also by Sanders, for Barbara Kingsolver.
James Alexander Thom is a best-selling author who was born in Gosport, Indiana, began an early reporting career at the Indianapolis Star and later joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Journalism. His major historical novels include From Sea to Shining Sea, Follow the River and Panther in the Sky, the last two of which were turned into television movies. The Thom, James Alexander mss. provides researchers access to the drafts and proofs of Thom’s works as well as insight into the extensive research that Thom is known for performing. The collection also contains Warrior Woman, the novel Thom co-wrote with his wife Dark Rain Thom. Another highlight is Thom’s correspondence with fellow Indiana authors Richard Cady, Scott Russell Sanders and Kurt Vonnegut. Other correspondents include former Indiana Governor Otis R. Bowen, politician and writer Ken Coates, and historian and author Howard Zinn. Drawings, clippings and biographical materials in the Thom, James Alexander mss. help to complete the picture of this significant Indiana author.
A manuscript subject guide is available for researchers to search for more collections of Indiana-related literature.
-Cassie Brand and Danielle Emerling, Lilly Library Manuscripts Interns, Summer 2011