Sharman Apt Russell (creative nonfiction faculty) is the recipient of the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing for Diary of a Citizen Scientist (Oregon State University Press, 2014), which also won the WILLA Award and was named by The Guardian as a top ten nature book. The Burroughs Medal was first given in 1926 and recipients include Aldo Leopold, Roger Tory Peterson, Rachel Carson, and contemporary writers like John McPhee and Barry Lopez. Her forthcoming Within Our Grasp: Childhood Malnutrition Worldwide and the Revolution Taking Place to End It (Pantheon Books, 2021) combines her longtime interest in the environment with her longtime interest in hunger.
She is now working on a memoir project about test pilots and the Mojave Desert that she loves and doubts in equal measure. Recent work in fiction include Knocking on Heaven’s Door (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016), an eco-sci-fi set in a Paleoterrific future, winner of the Arizona Authors Association and New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Science Fiction, and her award-winning YA Teresa of the New World (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015), a story of plagues, were-jaguars, and the dreamscape of the sixteenth-century American Southwest.
Sharman’s Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist was one of Booklist’s top ten books in religion. Her Hunger: An Unnatural History was written with the help of a Rockefeller Fellowship. Her work has been translated into nine languages and her essays published in many magazines, journals, and anthologies. Sharman has also been awarded a Writers at Work Fellowship, a Henry Joseph Jackson Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award. She has thrice judged the PEN Award in Children’s Literature.