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Denise Giardina, Author, Papers

 Collection
Collection Number: A&M.3740
Papers of Appalachian author Denise Giardina, whose 1987 novel "Storming Heaven" received the W. D. Weatherford Award, and 1992 novel "Unquiet Earth" received the American Book Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award for fiction. The collection includes research notebooks and draft manuscripts of her historical novels "Good King Harry", "Storming Heaven", "Unquiet Earth", "Saints and Villains", and "Emily's Ghost".

The collection also includes five 5 in. floppy computer disks containing electronic files and Giardina's notes, drafts for an unfinished and unpublished work of nonfiction entitled "The State of Appalachia", and a draft of a play about Senator Robert C. Byrd entitled "Robert and Ted".

The collection is organized into seven series and four addenda, including:

Series 1. Floppy Disks; undated; box 1, folder 1 (5 disks)
Series 2. Good King Harry; 1984, undated; box 1, folder 2 -- box 2, folder 2(4 notebooks)
Series 3. Storming Heaven; undated; box 2, folder 2 -- box 4, folder 1 (5 notebooks)
Series 4. The Unquiet Earth; undated; box 4, folder 2 -- box 5, folder 1 (3 notebooks)
Series 5. Saints and Villains; undated; box 5, folders 2-3 (2 notebooks)
Series 6. Emily's Ghost; 2006, 2009, undated; box 6, folder 1-2 (2 notebooks)
Series 7. Miscellaneous Manuscripts; 2002-2013, undated; box 6, folder 3 -- box 7, folder 3 (1 notebook)

Addendum of 2014/06/30; undated; box 7, folder 4
Addendum of 2016/12/15; ca. 1950-2008; boxes 8-10
Addendum of 2017/10/19; ca. 1900-2016; box 11
Addendum of 2018/02/23; ca. 1984-1999, undated; box 12

Series 1. Floppy Disks; undated; box 1, folder 1 (5 disks). Five floppy disks, with an attached sticky note from Giardina that identifies them as containing backups for "The State of Appalachia" and "The Unquiet Earth".

Series 2. Good King Harry; 1984, undated; box 1, folder 2 -- box 2, folder 2 (4 notebooks). This series pertains to "Good King Harry", Giardina's first novel, which was published in 1984. The novel is a fictional re-telling of the life of Henry V of England. The series contains four notebooks, one containing research notes, the other three containing manuscript drafts. The research notebook contains news clippings, maps, and other material, some which was collected during Giardina's time studying abroad in England in 1972. The three draft notebooks contain the fourth notebook of the first draft, the first notebook of the second draft, and the last notebook Giardina used before she began to type a final version of the novel for her agent.

Series 3. Storming Heaven; undated; box 2, folder 2 -- box 4, folder 1 (5 notebooks). This series regards "Storming Heaven", a historical novel published in 1987. The novel tells the story of the coal town of Annadel, West Virginia through the eyes of its residents, culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain. This series contains five notebooks. There are two research notebooks, the first of which is also the last notebook in the "Good King Harry" series. The remaining three notebooks contain draft versions of the novel. The first research notebook contains research notes, news clippings, and photocopies, most regarding labor and Charleston history, and other material. The second research notebook contains Giardina's earliest notes for "Storming Heaven". The draft manuscript notebooks include the second and third notebooks of the first draft and the first notebook of a revised draft.

Series 4. The Unquiet Earth; undated; box 4, folder 2 -- box 5, folder 1 (3 notebooks). This series regards "The Unquiet Earth", a historical novel and sequel to "Storming Heaven", published in 1992. The series consists of three notebooks, each of which contains an early draft version of the novel.

Series 5. Saints and Villains; undated; box 5, folders 2-3 (2 notebooks). This series regards "Saints and Villains", a historical novel published in 1998. The novel concerns the life and death of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian who was executed by Nazi Germany for crimes against the regime. This series contains two notebooks, the first containing research notes, and the other a draft version of the novel. The research notebook mostly consists of notes from a German language class that Giardina took. The second notebook also contains early notes for Giardina's subsequent novel, "Fallam's Secret".

Series 6. Emily's Ghost; 2006, 2009, undated; box 6, folders 1-2 (2 notebooks). This series regards "Emily's Ghost", a historical novel published in 2009. The novel is a fictionalized re-telling of the life of Emily Bronte. This series contains two notebooks, the first containing research notes, and the second containing a draft version of the novel. Inside the front cover of the research notebook are a New Yorker article regarding cholera and a copy of a review of "Emily's Ghost" by Jennifer L. Holberg that was published in "Books and Culture: A Christian Review"; the review has underlining by Giardina.

Series 7. Miscellaneous Manuscripts; 2002-2013, undated; box 6, folder 3 -- box 7, folder 3

The State of Appalachia; undated (1 notebook). An unfinished and unpublished work of non-fiction. It consists of one notebook containing research notes and draft versions of the book.

Robert and Ted; 2011-2013 (4 typescripts, 1 email). An unfinished play about Senator Robert C. Byrd. Box 6 includes one typescript copy of the first draft of the first act of the play and an e-mail authored by Giardina to a director regarding a staged reading of the play. Box 7 includes drafts 4-6 of the play.

Can These Bones Live?; 2002 (1 laser printed item of 18 pages). Notes for a speech created by Giardina on 25 October 2002 regarding biblical stories. It was delivered at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, West Virginia in Fall 2002.

Addendum of 2014/06/30; undated; box 7, folder 4

Printed copy of draft of memoir titled "Animals". This memoir recounts episodes from Giardina's life, focusing on the pets she and her family owned.

Addendum of 2016/12/15; ca. 1950-2008; boxes 8-10

box 8; folder 1; genealogy (1884-1988); undated
box 8; folder 2; biographical information -- mother; 1939, undated
box 8; folder 3; biographical information -- early years (mostly clippings); 1955-1978
box 8; folder 4; correspondence -- professional; 1982-1987, 2008
box 8; folder 5; correspondence -- personal; 1979-2005
box 8; folder 6; correspondence -- parents; 1946, undated
box 8; folder 7; writings -- miscellaneous (includes christmas story, proof, etc.); 1970, 1989, undated
box 8; folder 8; planner; 1986
box 8; folder 9; publications about Giardina (includes two interview transcripts and "Iron Mountain Review" Giardina issue); 1993-1999
box 8; folder 10; publications about Giardina (thesis by Pleska); 1998
box 8; folder 11; awards; 1987, 1988, 1993
box 8; folder 12; programs (four items, includes theatrical events and writers conference that Giardina was involved with); 1998-2008
box 8; folder 13; clippings; 1988-2016
box 8; folder 14; photographs; ca. 1960s
box 8; folder 15; photographs; ca. 1950s-1990s
box 8; folder 16; photographs -- Bonhoeffer project; undated
box 9; artifact -- great grandmother's purse and eye glasses; undated
box 10; oversize -- clippings (includes extensive compilation of material by and about Giardina); 1984-2016

Addendum of 2017/10/19; ca. 1900-2016; box 11

box 11; folder 1; postcard from author Carolyn Chute; 1985
box 11; folder 2; note from West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood upon mother's death; 2005
box 11; folder 3; publication featuring Giardina -- "Appalachian Heritage"; 2016
box 11; folder 4; notebook -- Pittston strike; 1989
box 11; folder 5; manuscript narrative -- memories of a public health nurse, by mother; undated
box 11; folder 6; miscellaneous (includes article regarding mother Leona [1977], article re "nuclear arms bazaar" that Giardina protested [1980], fan letter re novel "Good King Harry" [1986], and Giardina gubernatorial election campaign card [undated])
box 11; folders 7-9; photos -- youth (16 items, includes grade school, high school, and college pictures); undated
box 11; folder 10; photos -- Giardina with father, mother, brother (7 items); undated
box 11; folder 11; photos -- father (2 items); undated
box 11; folder 12; photos -- mother (8 items); 1945, undated
box 11; folder 13; photos -- grandfather (2 items); undated
box 11; folder 14; photos -- great grandparents (4 items); undated
box 11; folder 15; photos -- friends (11 items); undated
box 11; folder 16; photos -- pet dogs, Cyndy, Phyllis, and Snoopy (3 items)
box 11; folder 17; photos -- miscellaneous (6 items; includes picture with author Carolyn Chute); undated

Addendum of 2018/02/23; ca. 1984-1999, undated; box 12

box 12; folder 1; gubernatorial campaign (contains letter from campaign treasurer); 1999
box 12; folder 2; grade school visit in Charleston, WV (includes messages and artwork by students to Giardina); 1999
box 12; folder 3; Saints and Villains -- incoming letters (includes three letters from readers responding to Giardina's novel "Saints and Villains"; authors are Father J. Patrick Galivan, writer Annie Dillard, and professor John Martell of Western Michigan University); 1999
box 12; folder 4; Saints and Villains -- notebook (labeled "Sophie and Dietrich", includes notes regarding a Bonhoeffer conference, among other material); 1985, undated
box 12; folder 5; Saints and Villains -- notebook (floral cover, research notes recorded during trip to Europe); undated
box 12; folder 6; Saints and Villains -- notebook (green cover, includes two pages on places in England and three pages of "first draft"); undated
box 12; folder 7; Saints and Villains -- clipping re Bonhoeffer (in an issue of "Sojourners"); 1979
box 12; folder 8; Saints and Villains -- "early notes" (seven pages of typescript notes by Giardina); undated
box 12; folder 9; Saints and Villains -- photos (research photos by Giardina); undated
box 12; folder 10; Saints and Villains -- postcards from Germany, Flossenberg brochure; 1984, undated
box 12; folder 11; Saints and Villains -- maps of Germany and Berlin, Ettal travel booklet (three items); undated

Dates

  • ca. 1984-2014

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.

Extent

1.75 Linear Feet (Summary: 1 ft. 8 1/2 in. (6 flat storage boxes, 3 in. each); (1 document case, 2 1/2 in.))

Overview

Papers of author Denise Giardina, including research notebooks and draft manuscripts of her historical novels "Good King Harry", "Storming Heaven", "The Unquiet Earth", "Saints and Villains", and "Emily's Ghost". Also includes an addendum of 2014/06/30. See the scope and content note for details.

Biographical / Historical

Denise Giardina (1951- ) was born in Bluefield, West Virginia and spent her childhood in a McDowell County coal mining camp named Black Wolf. Giardina's father and other members of her family were employed by the coal company. The mine closed when Giardina was thirteen, and her family was forced to move to Charleston in search of work.

Giardina pursued higher education at West Virginia Wesleyan College, graduating 1973 with a Bachelor's degree in History. She continued on to do graduate work at Marshall University. Giardina considered ordination in the Episcopal Church and pursued a Masters in Divinity at the Virginia Theological Seminary of Alexandria, Virginia, which she received in 1979. Giardina decided to write rather than to be ordained, publishing her first historical novel, "Good King Harry", in 1984.

Giardina's next two novels, "Storming Heaven" (1987) and "The Unquiet Earth" (1992) draw on the author's childhood experiences growing up in a coal camp and on the history of the West Virginia coalfields. Giardina has published several other novels on historical subjects. She currently teaches at West Virginia State University and serves as an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church.

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL: https://wvrhc.lib.wvu.edu/
Title
Denise Giardina, Author, Papers, ca. 1984-2014
Author
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
Date
2010/07/14
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

Contact:
1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US
304-293-3536