1. Marianne Wiggins's new novel, The Shadow Catcher,
centers in part on the life of a real historical figure, Edward Sheriff Curtis. Discuss the unique process of weaving fact and fiction: What difficulties it might pose? What artistic freedoms might emerge?
2. The book features an unusual narrative technique, combining historical fiction with more documentary-style biography and history, as well as a personal narrative that reads like memoir. Why do you think the author chose to tell this story in this way?
3. The chapters in the novel about Edward and Clara are essentially told from Clara's point of view. Is this ultimately more a story about Clara than Edward?
4. The intimate details of a personal relationship that unfolded in the past may not be documented in the way a public life might be. Is love a timeless emotion, or is the feeling influenced by the times in which it occurs?
5. The Edward Curtis presented here is a much more complicated man than the heroic figure that has come down to us through the legacy of his work. How do mythic elements of a human life arise over time?
6. Do you think Edward Curtis's story is a singularly American one?
7. There is a character named "Marianne Wiggins" in The Shadow Catcher
who, on the surface, shares much of the history of the actual Marianne Wiggins. When you are reading a novel, does the feeling of making a personal connection with the author add to your experience?
8. In another