Born in Casper, WY; married Louis Warren (a historian); children: two sons. Hobbies and other interests: Furniture making, art, gardening, food.
Novelist; former school teacher, rancher, short-order cook, furniture maker, and painter.
Turpentine (novel), Grove/Black Cat (New York, NY), 2007.
Spring Warren's first novel, Turpentine, takes place in the 1870s and features Edward Turrentine Bayard III, nicknamed Turpentine. Turpentine is born into a well-to-do Connecticut family, but his health is precarious. His parents' solution is to send him to Nebraska, where the clean air and wide open spaces will clear his lungs. The story is a picaresque cross-country adventure, in which Turpentine lands in the midst of numerous improbable situations caused by equally improbable people. Ned, as he is known, skins buffalos, falls in love with a girl who works in a dance hall, moves back east to work with a paleontologist, and becomes involved with a juvenile delinquent he rescues from a Pennsylvania coal mine.
Circumstances converge unfavorably for Ned, and he is forced to flee from the law, with the dance hall girl and the juvenile delinquent in tow, and runs westward, just one step ahead of a persistent Pinkerton's Detective. The trio's obstacles include Indians, Mormons, and would-be industrialists. Critics were attracted to the story but noted the book's propensity for blood and violence and its sometimes confusing narrative. Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, compared Turpentine to the character Huck Finn, and appreciated the book's "considerable excitement, humor, and [occasional] pathos." "Characters come and go, often violently," wrote a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, "but astonishingly, the sweetness of the story keeps it afloat." In Library Journal, Ken St. Andre called Ned "a latter-day Candide in 1870s America."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of Turpentine, p. 40.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2007, review of Turpentine.
Library Journal, September 1, 2007, Ken St. Andre, review of Turpentine, p. 131.
Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2007, review of Turpentine, p. 35.
Roundup, August, 2007, Johnny D. Boggs, review of Turpentine, p. 24.
Spring Warren Home Page,http://www.springwarren.com (April 28, 2008).