Jim Fergus was born in Chicago in 1950 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, Idaho, Arizona, the French West Indies, and France. For ten years he worked as a teaching tennis pro in Colorado and Florida, and in 1980 moved to North Park, Colorado 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 a million copies in the United States. The French translation – MILLE FEMMES BLANCHES – published in 2000 won the “Best First Foreign Novel” award, and was on the bestseller list in France for 57 weeks.
In 1999, Jim Fergus published a collection of his outdoor articles and essays, titled THE SPORTING ROAD. His second novel, THE WILD GIRL: The Notebooks of Ned Giles was published by Hyperion Press in 2005, and came out in France the following year. 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 novel in France entitled, MARIE-BLANCHE. The book 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. Unfortunately MARIE-BLANCHE has never found a home with an American publisher.
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 an actual woman painter, Chrysis Jungbluth. Reviewing CHRYSIS in French ELLE magazine, Olivia de Lamberterie,wrote: “This novel is an arrow through the heart.” CHRYSIS was self-published the same year in America with the title THE MEMORY OF LOVE.
In 2016, the second volume of the ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMAN trilogy, LA VENGEANCE DES MERES was published in France, and in 2017, THE VENGEANCE OF MOTHERS was published in America. The third book of the trilogy, LES AMAZONES came out in France in 2019, and will appear in the U.S., titled STRONGHEART in late 2020.
Jim Fergus divides his time between southern Arizona, northern Colorado, and southwestern France.