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News - Ann Weisgarber Donates Archive to The Wittliff Collections

Ann Weisgarber

RELEASED July 18, 2017

SAN MARCOS, TX – Bestselling historical novelist Ann Weisgarber, whose work has been optioned for film by Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, has donated her literary papers to The Wittliff Collections.

“Ann Weisgarber has quickly established herself as a leading literary artist from the Southwest,” said Wittliff Collections Director Dr. David Coleman. “Her exquisitely wrought historical novels bring to life vital stories from our past. We are delighted to add her important archive to our permanent collection.”

“To say it’s an honor to have my papers at The Wittliff Collections is an understatement,” said Weisgarber. “The internationally-known archive is the guardian of Cormac McCarthy’s, Larry McMurtry’s, and Sandra Cisneros’ papers.  Now they are taking care of my papers.  I’m living a writer’s dream.”

Weisgarber, who lives in Galveston and is a council member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is the author of three novels. Her first, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, is set in the South Dakota Badlands in 1917. It was nominated for England’s 2009 Orange Prize and for the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. In the United States, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. JuVee Productions has optioned the film rights and Viola Davis will play Rachel DuPree. Filming is scheduled for 2018.

Weisgarber’s second novel, The Promise, takes place in 1900 on Galveston Island at the time of America’s deadliest natural disaster. It was shortlisted for the United Kingdom’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, was the finalist for the Spur Award for Best Western Historical Fiction, and was a finalist for the Ohioana Book Award for Fiction. Her newest book, The Glovemaker, is set in Utah’s deep canyon country during the winter of 1888. It will be published in late 2018.

Weisgarber’s archive preserves many aspects of her writing career: her early works including poetry and short stories, interviews, manuscript drafts, research materials, correspondence with editors, agents, and readers, reviews and publicity material, foreign editions and artifacts. Also present are materials from her tenure as the artist-in-residence at Badlands National Park while she was working on The Personal History of Rachel Dupree.

Weisgarber was born and raised in Ohio and graduated from Wright State University in Dayton with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She earned a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Houston and became a social worker in psychiatric and nursing home facilities and also taught sociology at Wharton County Junior College in Texas. She and her husband, Rob, are fans of America’s national parks and visit at least one park a year.


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The Wittliff Collections are located on the seventh floor of Texas State’s Alkek Library in San Marcos, between Austin and San Antonio. Exhibition hours, directions, parking information are online. For questions, call 512.245.2313 (press 0).


The Wittliff Collections are dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the cultural legacy of the Southwest’s literary, photographic and musical arts, and to fostering the region’s “Spirit of Place” in the wider world. The Wittliff hosts readings, artist talks, lectures, and other events; presents major exhibitions year-round from its holdings; and makes its collections available to statewide, national, and international researchers.

Visitors, tours, and classes are welcome. Admission is free.


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