The oil lamp on Frederick's desk reminds him of stories his father read by lamplight at their fishing camp during his childhood.

"You're only a writer when you're writing. "

Frederick Turner: Fiction, Nonfiction, Essays

Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit Against the Wilderness - 1980, 1990
Remembering Song: Encounters with the New Orleans Jazz Tradition - 1980
Rediscovering America: John Muir in His Time and Ours -
1985, 1990, 2000
Spirit of Place: The Making of an American Literary Landscape -
1989, 1992
Of Chiles, Cacti, and Fighting Cocks: Notes on the American West, "two expanded editions" -
1990, 1996, 2003
A Border of Blue: Along the Gulf of Mexico from the Keys to the Yucatan -
When the Boys Came Back: Baseball and 1946 -
1929: A Novel of the Jazz Age -
In the Land of Temple Caves: Notes on Art and the Human Spirit -
Redemption, A Novel -
The Go-Between: A Novel of the Kennedy Years -
Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of 'Tropic of Cancer'
- 2012

The Viking Portable North American Indian Reader - 1974
Into the Heart of Life: Henry Miller at One Hundred -
Geronimo, His Own Story -
1970, 1971, 1996

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship - 1976.
Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship - 1981
Regents' Writer-in-Residence, University of California, San Diego - 1983.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Denison University -1986

We happened to ask Jim Harrison if he had any suggestions for writers we should interview, and his answer was immediate: Frederick Turner. Like Harrison, Turner had also been a Guggenheim Fellow, and like Harrison, Turner also had a mind that was curious about everything, and the writing skills to turn his curiosity into compelling studies, novels and essays.

New Orleans’ jazz, ancient cave paintings, baseball and Henry Miller, a fictionalized version of Kennedy’s assassination, the role of literature and art, the power of the West on the American mind—these and much more are the timeless topics that Frederick Turner has tackled in his career as a master writer of fiction and non-fiction, novel, history and essay.
On a sunny afternoon marred only by the smoke of distant forest fires, we met with Turner at his lovely home along the old trails of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Interview Movie
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )

Reclining Buddha

Cave Art

Fredrick Turner's home is as charming and gracious as he is.

Frederick kindly invited Ella in during the interview. She skirted his collection of baseball bats.

Jazz musician


Santa Fe, NM

Run Time:



Fiction, Nonfiction, Essays, Editor



Chicago, IL

Youthful Influence:

His father reading to him and later, taking him to work on Saturdays, where Fred typed stories at the secretary's desk.

Favorite Authors:

Robert Louis Stevenson, Kent Haruf; in his youth Walter Farley and Marguerite Henry

Writing Habit:

Longhand in a bound notebook, then typed and edited on the Smith Corona, and finally turned over to his 'computer lady' for input.

Landscape, the west

The artwork in Turner's home - as well as his writing - reflects his many passions.

Simple ambrosia

We had a simple lunch, a fine wine and a spirited talk about the wide range of topics that capture his interest and motivate him to reflect and explore.

A man with discriminating tastes.