The literary papers of nationally acclaimed author Thomas E. Gifford, have been received by the Loras College Library. They are now being organized, and a finding aid is being developed to prepare the collection before opening it to students and other scholars. The collection consists of 18 archival storage transfer boxes. Among the items in the collection are the author’s manuscript and typescript originals for 16 novels written and published during his lifetime.
Gifford was born in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1937, and graduated from Dubuque Senior High School and Harvard University. His writing career began as a journalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune
His first commercially successful book was what some still consider his best, The Wind Chill Factor
, published in 1975 dealing with a potential Nazi resurrection. The book was a Putnam Award Novel. It was followed quickly by four other titles. Then in 1990 came The Assassini,
a tale of Vatican intrigue. His last book, Saint’s Rest
, is based on a locale set in his own hometown.
In addition to the books published under his name, he also wrote and published four titles under the name Thomas Maxwell, and three more under the name of Dana Clarins. His works generally fall under the category described as thriller/suspense.
The Cavanaugh Quest
published in 1976 and the Glendower Legacy
in 1978 were both nominated for the Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. The award is considered to be the top award for writers in this genre. The Glendower Legacy
was later turned into a film called Dirty Tricks, starring Elliot Gould.
Gifford returned to Dubuque in 1996 where he continued to write in semi-retirement. There he wrote a weekly column for the Telegraph-Herald titled “Jazzbo of Old Dubuque”. He died in 2000.
The Loras College Library continues to search for additional Gifford items to add to the Gifford Archive. Donors may contact Joyce Meldrem, Library Director, 563-588-7164 or email@example.com