- Category : Writers-Fiction
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (28,32,34,39,41,49,58)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 1
American award-winning author of a noted wealthy family, an heiress, who published her first novel at age 74 to critical acclaim. "The Stones of Ibarra" won the American Book Award for first fiction in 1984 and captured a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. It was followed by "Consider This, Senora" in 1993 and her third book, a collection of essays and short stories, "The Tiger in the Grass," published in 1995. Glaucoma and failing eyesight prevented her from writing additional novels or the autobiography she had planned. All her books are based on her travels and work in Mexico with her husband
Born into a privileged family, she was the granddaughter of Henry Edwards Huntington, the railroad tycoon. She and her siblings played at her grandfather's San Marino estate, now the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Her father was the only son of Henry Huntington, and her mother was a piano teacher in Berkeley, CA. They had six children together, with Harriet being born the third of four daughters. Harriet's father died of cancer when she was 11.
Her husband, Albert Edward Doerr, was an engineering student at Stanford University when they met the Christmas before she went off to Smith College in Massachusetts for her freshman year. She moved back to California and spent her next two years at Stanford but did not complete her last year of college. She married Doerr on November 15, 1930 and the couple had two children. They lived in California and Mexico where her husband's mining family had interests in copper mines.
After her husband died in 1972, she resumed her college studies, taking classes here and there. In 1975 she returned to Stanford intending to complete her major in history. But she took a writing course and found great pleasure in the process. She subsequently took additional writing courses on a Wallace Stegner fellowship.
After her first novel and award, she said "I found I'm quite happy working on a sentence for an hour or more, searching for the right phrase, the right word."
In 1995, the same year that "The Tiger in the Grass" was published, her son died of brain and lung cancer. The disease had claimed the lives of nearly everyone in her family at one time or another--her father, her mother, all five siblings, her husband and now a son.
Harriet Doerr died at age 92 on December 1, 2002 of complications from a fall suffered the prior month. Her daughter survived her.