2014 Notable Authors

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Margaret George (1943-)

Margaret George, American historian and historical novelist, specializes in fictional biographies written with meticulous research, giving a sympathetic view of the historical character. George was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and spent her formative years traveling to Taiwan, Tel Aviv and other locations in the Middle East, Bonn and Berlin, when her father was assigned to the U.S. Diplomatic Service. She went to high school in Washington D.C., double majored in English Literature and Biology at Tufts University for her undergraduate degree, and received an MA in Ecology from Stanford University.

George combined her interests and became a science writer for the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She spent four years in this position, then married and moved to St. Louis (where she began writing Henry VII), then Uppsala, Sweden, and finally landed in Madison, where she and her family have lived for over 30 years. George starting writing as a child, and keeping land tortoises as pets, a practice she continues to this day, and is active in environmental and animal conservation groups.


The Autobiography of Henry VII: With Notes by his Fool, Will Somers, 1986
Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles: A Novel, 1992
The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel, 1997
Mary, Called Magdalene, 2002
Lucille Lost: A True Adventure, 2006
Helen of Troy, 2006
Elizabeth I: The Novel, 2012

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948)

Born Rand Aldo Leopold in Burlington, Iowa, in 1887, Aldo was a naturalist, forester, wildlife manager, professor, ecologist and, of course, author. He attended boarding school in New Jersey and then studied forestry at Yale.  He received ranger training in Louisiana and Texas, and then worked for the US Forest Service in Arizona and New Mexico. 

He married Estella Bergere in 1912 and they had five children. 

He proposed the establishment of the Gila Wilderness Area in New Mexico in 1922.  Aldo Leopold moved to Madison in 1924 for a position at the US Forest Products Laboratory.  In 1928, he left that position to survey game, with funding from the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.  In 1933, he became a professor of wildlife management at UW-Madison. 

In 1935, he became the director of the Audubon Society and founded the Wilderness Society. That same year, he purchased an old farm with 80 acres in Sauk County, which became his outdoor laboratory and inspired the writing of A Sand County Almanac.  The book was published posthumously in 1949, following his death from a heart attack suffered while fighting a neighbor’s fire in Sauk County.   Aldo Leopold’s influence is still strongly present in conservation science and policy.  


Game Management, 1933. (With James G. Needham, Paul Bigelow Sears, and others)
A Symposium on Hydrobiology, 1941
A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, introduction by Robert Finch, illustrated by Charles W. Schwartz, 1949, reprinted with photos by Tom Algire as A Sand Country Almanac Illustrated, Tamarack Press, 1977
Round River: From the Journals of Aldo Leopold, edited by son, Luna B. Leopold, illustrated by Schwartz, 1953
A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation From Round River, illustrated by Schwartz, 1966
Aldo Leopold's Wilderness: Selected Early Writings by the Author of A Sand Country Almanac, edited by David E. Brown and Neil B. Carmony, 1990
The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays, edited by Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott, 1991.

Norbert Blei (1936-2013)

Norbert Blei was born in Chicago in 1935.  He graduated with a degree in English and taught in the Chicago area before working for City News Bureau as a reporter. In 1968, Blei moved to Door County with his family to write.  He wrote about growing up in Chicago, living in Door County and the people he met in both locations.  He wrote short stories, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Blei was the writer-in-residence at The Clearing in Door County for 40 years.  While living in Door County, he edited a Door County arts newspaper, and was the editor/publisher of CROSS+ROADS PRESS.  He also utilized the Internet to share his works and to showcase the works of new, up-and-coming writers. Albert DeGenova, one of Blei’s former students and a long time friend, said Blei was “first and foremost a writer.”  “His books are alive with people, neighborhoods, the sights, sounds, smells of real living.” 


The Watercolored Word, 1968
Door Steps (prose poems), 1983
Paint Me a Picture, Make Me a Poem, introduction by Paul Schroeder, Spoon River Poetry Press, 1987

The Second Novel (Becoming a Writer), 1978
The Hour of the Sunshine Now (short stories), 1978
Adventures in an American's Literature (novel), 1982
The Ghost of Sandburg's Phizzog and Other Stories (short stories), 1986

Door Way, illustrated with own photographs, 1981.
Door to Door, 1985
Neighborhood, 1987

Meditations on a Small Lake: (Requiem for a Diminishing Landscape) (essays), photographs by Mike Brisson, 1987
Chi Town, 1990
Chronicles of a Rural Journalist in America (essays), 1990
The Watercolor Way (essays), 1990
Charles L. Peterson: Of Place and Time, 1994