"Nevada Barr has carved out her own fictional fiefdom, creating a body of
work like no other," the San Diego Union Tribune remarked in 1996 upon
the publication of the fifth book in Barrs acclaimed series featuring
National Park Service Ranger Anna Pigeon. Since the 1993 publication of the
first Anna Pigeon novel, Track of the Cat, which was awarded both the
Anthony Award for Best First Novel by The Crime Writers Association and the
Agatha Award for Best First Novel by Malice Domestic, Barr has earned a
reputation as a talented and much admired writer. As the Chicago Tribune
said, "Nevada Barr is a park ranger who can write up a storm."
The daughter of two pilots, Barr bears the name of the state in which she was
born but apparently was not named for the state but for a character in one of her father's favorite books. She grew up at a little mountain airport in Johnsonville, California.
After attending college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and completing her graduate
studies at the University of California at Irvine, she moved to New York City to
pursue a career in theater. She stayed there for five years, as a member of the
Classic Stage Company, performing in Off-Broadway shows.
From New York, Barr went to Minneapolis, where she tried her hand at more
theater work, landed some spots on television commercials, and worked on
industrial films, among other things. Her former husband was involved in the
Park Service, which inspired her interest in wildlife and conservation, and eventually led to the profession that until
recently she shared with her main character: National Park Service Ranger.
When she felt she could afford to, Barr began to work summers at various
parks, and spent her winters pursuing a career in writing. She published her
first novel, Bittersweet, in 1984, but it was during her tour of duty in
Guadalupe Mountains in Texas, that Barr conceived of the Anna Pigeon character
and began the series with her critically acclaimed, award-winning debut, Track
of the Cat in 1993. A complete list of the Anna Pigeon series and Ms Barr's other books can be found on her
This biography was last updated on 09/10/2010.
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