Jim Fergus was born in Chicago of a French mother and an American father. He attended high school in Massachusetts and graduated as an English major from Colorado College. He has traveled extensively and lived over the years in Colorado, Florida, the French West Indies, Idaho, France, and Arizona. For ten years he worked as a teaching tennis pro in Colorado and Florida, and in 1980 moved to the tiny town of Rand, Colorado (pop. 13), to begin his career as a full-time freelance writer. During the next two decades Fergus published hundreds of articles, essays, interviews and profiles in a wide variety of regional and national magazines and newspapers. His first book, a travel/sporting memoir titled, A HUNTER’S ROAD, was published by Henry Holt in 1992. In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Kirsch called A HUNTER’S ROAD, “An absorbing, provocative, and even enchanting book.”
Fergus’s first novel, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN: The Journals of May Dodd was published by St. Martin’s Press in 1998. The novel won the 1999 Fiction of the Year Award from the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association. A favorite selection of reading groups across the country, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN has since sold over 700,000 copies in the United States. The French translation – MILLE FEMMES BLANCHES – won the “Best First Foreign Novel” award, was on the bestseller list in France for 57 weeks, and has sold over 400,000 copies in that country.
In 1999, Jim Fergus published a collection of his outdoor articles and essays, titled THE SPORTING ROAD. In the spring of 2005, his second novel, THE WILD GIRL: The Notebooks of Ned Giles was published by Hyperion Press. An historical fiction set in the 1930’s in Chicago, Arizona, and the Sierra Madre of Mexico, THE WILD GIRL has also been embraced by reading groups and book clubs. Winston Groom, author of FOREST GUMP called it, “an exhilarating and suspenseful tale that makes the heart soar.”
In 2011, Fergus published a family historical fiction in France entitled, MARIE-BLANCHE. The novel spans the entire 20th century, and tells the devastating tale of the complicated and ultimately fatal relationship between the author’s French mother and grandmother. The American edition of MARIE-BLANCHE will be published in the United States in 2014.
In the spring of 2013, Fergus published another novel in France, CHRYSIS: Portrait de l’Amour, a love story set in 1920’s Paris and based on the life of a actual woman painter, Chrysis Jungbluth. Reviewing CHRYSIS in French ELLE magazine, Olivia de Lamberterie,wrote: “This novel is an arrow through the heart.”
CHRYSIS has just been published in America with the title THE MEMORY OF LOVE.
Jim Fergus divides his time between southern Arizona, northern Colorado, and France.