The Shadow Catcher Author:Marianne Wiggins 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 p... more »erson 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. « less
Not quite as good as "Evidence of Things Unseen", but close. Wiggins' excellent writing is at the forefront of this novel, and the parallel storylines bring an interesting dimension to the book. Full of a cast of fascinating historical characters, and interspersed with photos from Curtis' collection. An excellent, thought-provoking read.
An astonishing and beautiful book about the intersection of art and passion. It weaves together a fictionalized account of the life of photographer Edward Curtis with a faux "memoir" of the author's life. I loved the book as a whole, but I thought the Curtis sections were stronger than the Wiggins sections. And there's a mystery bit, concerning a man who might or might not be the fictionalized Wiggins' father, the resolution of which I think doesn't entirely make sense. Still, I found the writing lyrical, the story thought-provoking, and the characters well-drawn and moving.