The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Craig Holden Papers

MSS-235

Size: 9 lin. ft.

Provenance: Gift of Craig Holden, 2010. 

Collection Summary: This collection documents Craig Holden’s development as a writer and his career as a successful author of best-selling fiction.  The first three series present works from his early, mid-career, and recent periods while the rest of the collection contain correspondence, photographs, degrees, awards, and miscellaneous materials.

Subject: Literature

Access: Open

Related Collections: Herbert W. Martin Papers, Robert Flanagan Papers

Processing Note:  Some of Holden’s early writings exist as fragments.  Attempts have been made to file these fragments with the full-length manuscript of that particular piece of writing.  Some fragments could not be matched to a manuscript, and are filed as miscellaneous, undated fragments.  

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection remain with the donor, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by: Desiree Swicegood, Brandi Sharlow, and Barbara Floyd, completed November 2012

Biographical Sketch

            Craig Holden was born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1959.  He attended the University of Toledo for his undergraduate studies, graduating in 1983 with a B.A. degree with honors in a combined major in psychology, biology, and philosophy.  Holden planned to attend medical school, and he began down that path by taking a job at St. Vincent’s Medical Center , working nights drawing blood from patients.  Eventually Holden became restless with pursing a medical career and decided to go back to school.  Since he had been spending his free time writing, he decided to apply for a MFA degree in creative writing even though he did not believe writing could be taught.  He was accepted into the University of Montana’s program in 1984 and moved to Missoula, Montana.  While in graduate school, Holden received a teaching assistantship and found that he learned much more about writing than he had expected.  The program formed the basis for his influential writing career.  Holden also worked for Cutbank literary magazine as an editor as well.  The editing job furthered his continuing interest in editing and publishing, so he went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend a publishing course at Radcliffe College. 
            Shortly after completing his publishing study work, Holden moved to New York City in search of a publishing/editing career.  Unable to find work at the time, Holden returned home to Ohio where he taught part-time for the Department of English at the University of Toledo.  While there, he became engaged to Lisa Dilworth, a legal assistant.  In 1988, Holden and his wife moved back to New York City to give another try at a career in publishing.  This time he was successful and landed a job with a literary agent and eventually a film rights agent himself.  In 1989, the Holdens found themselves short on funds and Craig, on a whim, decided to write a quick novel for some easy money.  This resulted in four years of work that played upon his time as a medical lab assistant.  He wrote a detective thriller about a doctor in a difficult situation, entitled The River Sorrow.
Holden’s first novel was an instant hit and allowed him to pursue a long-term writing career of thrillers and detective novels.  Among these are his bestsellers:  The Last Sanctuary (about a Persian Gulf veteran who attempts to aid his substance-abusing brother but becomes entangled in murder and a high profile FBI investigation); and Four Corners of Night, for which Holden won the Great Lakes Book Award.   Four Corners of Night is a detective novel involving two police officers and lifelong friends who develop their relationship through a kidnapping case of an Ohio girl in their hometown that resembles the kidnapping of one of the officers’ own daughter.  Holden followed this with The Jazz Bird, a novel based on the true life 1920s George Remus murder trial in Cincinnati, Ohio, in which Holden emphasizes the era of bootlegging, legal manipulation, and the infamous jazz age of American culture, music, and society.  Other books by Holden include The Narcissist’s Daughter (Simon and Schuster, 2005), and Matala (Simon and Schuster, 2007), which is currently in film development.

            Craig Holden currently lives and writes   in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

 

Scope and Content Note

            The Craig Holden Papers are arranged in seven series which document his development as a writer and his career as a successful author of best-selling fiction. 
Series I, Early Writings, documents Holden’s development as a budding author.  The series is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically.  Included are junior high and high school homework and other assignments during the 1974-1979 time period.  The series also documents Holden’s undergraduate career, and spans from roughly 1979 through 1983.  In this time period the collection includes undergraduate papers on numerous subjects including biology, philosophy, and sociology.  The end of the early career materials series contains graduate work from Holden’s time at the University of Montana in the masters’ program in creative writing.  This material includes numerous short stories (with multiple drafts), plays, and other writing.  Several folders of writing fragments are included.  These are likely to be drafts or portions of drafts of other writings of this time, but the title of the pieces could not be determined.  At the end of the series are folders documenting Holden’s work as a part-time instructor in the University of Toledo Department of English.
            Series II, Mid-Career Writings, contains works spanning 1989-1998 that document his first successes at publishing his fiction.  This series consists mostly of short stories and the early published works of Holden’s career, including The River Sorrow, The Last Sanctuary, and Noel, Noel.   Series II also includes numerous notes, research materials, and articles Holden used in the process of writing these early books.  At the end of each story, chronologically arranged, are undated folders documenting book tours and signings and also include articles, book reviews, and book covers for each book.
            Series III, Recent Writings, covers the time period from 1999- 2009 and documents Holden’s full development as an accomplished and successful author of fiction.  The first published work of the third series is Four Corners of Night.  Even though the collection begins in 1999, the first folders in series include rough drafts and unedited manuscripts of this work dated 1998.  Included also are his notes, research materials, and book tour and signing details.  The other major work in this series is The Jazz Bird.  There are numerous drafts and versions of The Jazz Bird arranged chronologically.  Following these are research files on the 1920s trial of George Remus from both The Cincinnati Enquirer and the St. Louis Dispatch, which formed the basis for the book.  Also included are numerous books Holden used in his research on The Jazz Bird, arranged alphabetically according to book title.
            In addition to the paper files, computer files documenting drafts of many of Holden’s work are included on two CDs with the collection.  These files have been converted from DOS and MAC documents into text files.  These files include drafts of early works and essays, and also of specific later writings, including:  “Church of the City,” The River Sorrow, The Last Sanctuary, Four Corners of Night, The Jazz Bird, The Narcissist’s Daughter, and Matala.  Most of the drafts of works are dated or numbered as to which draft the file contains.  These electronic files will be useful for understanding how Holden’s works progressed and developed.  Researchers wishing to use these computer files must do so in person in the Ward M. Canaday Center.
            The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh series of the collection include a wide range of material arranged by series and then, if possible, chronologically and alphabetically.  Series IV, Correspondence, contains Holden’s professional correspondence dating from 1977-2004, and then his personal correspondence dating from 1974-1998.  Series V, Photographs, includes photographs of Holden ranging in time period from his childhood through adulthood, as well as photographs of his family.  Series VI, Degrees and Awards, includes those he attained in junior high and high school as well as numerous academic awards throughout his college and writing careers.  Finally, Series VII, Miscellaneous, ranges from personal memorabilia and publishing/editing materials to questionnaires and biographies of Craig Holden.         
Copies of most of the printed works of Holden have been added to the rare book collection of the Ward M. Canaday Center.  These include audio and foreign language editions of the works.  These books can be found by searching the on-line library catalog.

Folder List

Box

Folder

Item

   

Series I.  Early Writings

1

1

Early Writings, “The Hunt,” 1977

1

2

Early Writings, plays untitled, n.d.

1

3

Early Writings, poetry, n.d.

1

4

Early Writings, reports, 1974-1977

1

5

Early Writings, most titles unknown, n.d.

1

6

U.T. school homework and notes, n.d.

1

7

U.T. undergraduate writing, “The Fast Life,” n.d.

1

8

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Fine Little Details,” n.d.

1

9

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Gyros,” n.d.

1

10

U.T. undergraduate writing, miscellaneous, 1977-1983

1

11

U.T. undergraduate writing, notebook, 1980-1981

1

12

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Recess,” 1981

1

13

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Rock and Roll Fairytale,” n.d.

1

14

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Search for the Ultimate Pub,” notes, 1982-1983

1

15

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Search for the Ultimate Pub,” 2nd draft, 1982-1983

1

16

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Search for the Ultimate Pub,” 3rd draft, 1982-1983

1

17

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Search of the Ultimate Pub,” additional materials, 1982-1983

1

18

U.T. undergraduate writing, “Visitor,” or “The Thinker’s Notebook,” n.d.

1

19

University of Montana, forms and miscellaneous papers, 1985-1988

1

20

University of Montana, miscellaneous materials, 1985-1988

1

21

University of Montana, student evaluations, 1986

1

22

University of Montana, student evaluations, 1986

1

23

University of Montana, teaching assistantship, 1985

1

24

University of Montana, writings, “After the Late, Late Show,” n.d.

1

25

University of Montana, writings, “Bridges,” a.k.a. “The Bridge Group,” 1984-1985

1

26

University of Montana, writings, “The Bridge Group,” critiques by other students, 1984

1

27

University of Montana, writings, “A Church in the City,” notes and incomplete drafts, n.d.

     

2

1

University of Montana, writings, “The Church in the City,” first and third person drafts, n.d.

2

2

University of Montana, writings, class assignments, 1985

2

3

University of Montana, writings, class assignments, 1986

2

4

University of Montana, writings, “Five Very Short Stories,” 1985

2

5

University of Montana, writings, “Flashback,” 1986

2

6

University of Montana, writings, “Flashback,” 1rst, 2nd, 3rd drafts, 1986

2

7

University of Montana, writings, “Flashback,” 4th draft, 1986

2

8

University of Montana, writings, “Flashback,” notes, 1986

2

9

University of Montana, writings, “A Great Place,” a.k.a., “One Time in Venice,” 1983-1984

2

10

University of Montana, writings, “How Long It Takes,” n.d.

2

11

University of Montana, writings, “History and Leaving/Flora and Fauna,” n.d.

2

12

University of Montana, writings, “The Idea of Jack,” n.d.

2

13

University of Montana, writings, “Indispensable,” first and third person drafts, 1985

2

14

University of Montana, writings, “Indispensable,” critiques by other students, 1985

2

15

University of Montana, writings, “Indispensable,” critiques by other students, 1985

2

16

University of Montana, writings, “The Indispensable Blues,” 1985

2

17

University of Montana, writings, ‘Order, Order,” n.d.

2

18

University of Montana, writings, “Out of Darkness,” 1984

2

19

University of Montana, writings, “The Real Wild West Show,” first and second person drafts, n.d.

2

20

University of Montana, writings, “The Quiet,” n.d.

2

21

University of Montana, writings, “Sally Star:  A Life,” n.d.

2

22

University of Montana, “Scary Monsters,” 1985

2

23

University of Montana, writings, “Scary Monsters,” notes, first person and third person drafts, 1985

     

3

1

University of Montana, writings, “Scary Monsters,” critiques by other students, 1985

3

2

University of Montana, writings, “Sombreros,” n.d.

3

3

University of Montana, writings, “Some Mornings,” 1984

3

4

University of Montana, writings, “Some Mornings,” critiques by other students, 1984

3

5

University of Montana, writings, untitled, n.d.

3

6

University of Montana, writings, “Wait,” n.d.

3

7

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

8

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

9

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

10

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

11

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

12

University of Montana, writings, miscellaneous writing fragments, 1984-1988

3

13

“Cutbank 25,” Fall/Winter, 1986

3

14

Radcliff publishing course assignments, 1987

3

15

Untitled short stories, 1987

3

16

“Distances,” 1988

3

17

U.T. application, 1988

3

18

U.T., Composition II materials, 1988

3

19

U.T., Composition II materials, 1988

3

20

U.T., Teaching materials, 1988

3

21

U.T., Teaching materials for Writing Skills course, 1988

     
   

Series II.  Mid-Career Writings

3

22

“The River Sorrow,” draft of part one, n.d.

3

 

“The River Sorrow,” notes, ca. 1992

3

25

“The River Sorrow,” manuscript, chapters 1-12, 1993

3

26

“The River Sorrow,” manuscript, chapters 13-22, 1993

4

1

“The River Sorrow,” manuscript, chapters 23-33, 1993

4

2

“The River Sorrow,” manuscripts, chapters 34-38, 1993

4

3

“The River Sorrow,” uncorrected galley proof, 1994

4

4

“The River Sorrow,” book reviews, signing events, book tours, 1993-1996

4

5

“The River Sorrow,” book reviews, signing events, book tours, 1993-1996

4

6

“The River Sorrow,” miscellaneous, 1994-1996

10

9

“The River Sorrow,” advance copy

4

7

“A Kin to No One,” notes and research, 1994-1995

4

8

“The Cold Open Way” (“The Last Sanctuary”), chapters 1-8

4

9

“The Cold Open Way,” chapters 9-18

4

10

“The Cold Open Way,” chapter 19-28

4

11

“The Cold Open Way” chapters 29-42

10

6

“The Cold Open Way,” Draft, Final Text Part 1

10

7

“The Cold Open Way,” Draft, Final Text Part 2

10

8

“The Cold Open Way,” Draft, Final Text Part 3

4

12

“The Last Sanctuary,” original manuscript, chapters 1-5, 1996

4

13

“The Last Sanctuary,” original manuscript, chapters 6-10

4

14

“The Last Sanctuary,” original manuscript, chapters 11-19

4

15

“The Last Sanctuary,” original manuscripts, chapters 20-28

4

16

“The Last Sanctuary,” original manuscript, chapters 29-42

4

17

“The Last Sanctuary,” miscellaneous edits to galley proof, 1995

4

18

“The Last Sanctuary,” book reviews, 1996

5

1

“Noel Noel,” first draft, 1998

5

2

“Noel Noel,” partial draft, n.d.

     
   

Series III.  Recent Writings

5

3

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 1 (missing pgs. 1- 12), 1999

5

4

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 2, 1999

5

5

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 3, 1999

5

6

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 4, 1999

5

7

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 5, 1999

5

8

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 6, 1999

5

9

“Four Corners of Night,” draft part 7, 1999

5

10

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 1, 1999

5

11

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 2, 1999

5

12

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 3, 1999

5

13

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 4, 1999

5

14

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 5, 1999

5

15

“Four Corners of Night,” final draft part 6, 1999

5

16

“Four Corners of Night,” notes, 1995

5

17

“Four Corners of Night,” notes and research materials, n.d.

5

18

“Four Corners of Night,” notes and research materials, n.d.

5

19

“Four Corners of Night,” uncorrected galley proofs, 1999

5

20

“Four Corners of Night,” uncorrected galley proofs, 1999

5

21

“Four Corners of Night,” reviews, articles, covers, 1999

5

22

“The Jazz Bird,” copy edited manuscript, part 1, 2000

5

23

“The Jazz Bird,” copy edited manuscript, part 2, 2000

5

24

“The Jazz Bird,” copy edited manuscript, part 3, 2000

     

6

1

“The Jazz Bird,” copy edited manuscript part 4, 2001

6

2

“The Jazz Bird,” draft, part 1

6

3

“The Jazz Bird,” draft, part 2

6

4

“The Jazz Bird,” draft, part 3

6

5

“The Jazz Bird,” draft, part 4

6

6

“The Jazz Bird,” draft, part 5

6

7

“The Jazz Bird,” rough draft, part 1

6

8

“The Jazz Bird,” rough draft, part 2

6

9

“The Jazz Bird,” rough draft, part 3

6

10

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 1, 2001

6

11

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 2

6

12

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 3

6

13

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 4

6

14

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 5

6

15

“The Jazz Bird,” final draft, part 6

6

16

“The Jazz Bird,” editing, n.d.

6

18

“The Jazz Bird,” book reviews

6

19

“The Jazz Bird,” notes and research

6

20

“The Jazz Bird,” research on Remus trial (St. Louis newspaper)

6

21

“The Jazz Bird,” research on Remus career (St. Louis newspaper)

     

7

1

“The Jazz Bird,” research on George Remus murder trial (Cincinnati Enquirer)

7

2

“The Jazz Bird,” research on George Remus murder trial,  part 2

7

3

Research Book- The American Gladiators: Taft versus Remus

7

4

Research Book- The Cincinnati Crime Book

7

5

Research Book- Cincinnati: Days in History

7

6

Research Book- The City of Rivers and Hills

7

7

Research Book- Franklin Simon Fashion Catalog for 1923

7

8

Research Book- Going to Cincinnati

7

9

Research Book- Jazz Masters of the 20s

7

10

Research Book- The Jazz Revolution

7

11

Research Book- The Long Thirst- Prohibition in America: 1920- 1933

7

12

Research Book- The Ohio Gang

7

13

Research Book- Prohibition- Thirteen Years that Changed America

7

14

Research Book- Then and Now- Cincinnati Northern Kentucky

7

15

Research Book- Toledo Piston Service

     

8

1

Research Book- Rumrunning and the Roaring Twenties

8

2

Research Book- The Twenties: An Intimate Portrait of the Jazz Age

8

3

Research Book- The Year the World Went Mad

8

4

Research Book- The P & G Ivory Cut- Whiskey Massacre

8

5

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” part 1, 2004

8

6

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” part 2, 2004

8

7

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” part 3, 2004

8

8

“The Narcissist’ Daughter,” part 4, 2004

8

9

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” draft, book 1, 2004

8

10

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” draft, book 2, 2004

8

11

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” draft, book 3, 2004

8

12

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” draft, book 4, 2004

8

13

“The Narcissist’ Daughter,” draft, book 5, 2004

8

14

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” proofs, part 1, 2004

8

15

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” proofs, part 2, 2004

8

16

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” proofs, part 3, 2004

8

17

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” proofs, part 4, 2004

10

3

“The Narcissist’s Daughter,” Advanced Copy

8

18

“Matala,” proofs, 2007

10

4

“Matala,” Draft, Final Text Part 1

10

5

“Matala,” Draft, Final Text Part 2

10

2

“Matala,” advance copy

8

19

Recent writings, miscellaneous notes and writing fragments, n.d.

8

20

CD containing computer files of Holden’s writings and drafts of writings

     
   

Series IV.  Correspondence

8

21

Professional correspondence, partially dated or undated

8

22

Professional correspondence, 1977, 1980, 1984- 1987

8

23

Professional correspondence, 1989-1990

8

24

Professional correspondence, Denise Iorio, 1991

8

25

Professional correspondence, 1992- 1999, 2003-2004

9

1

Personal correspondence, partially or undated

9

2

Personal correspondence, 1974- 1980

9

3

Personal correspondence, 1987-1989

9

4

Personal correspondence, 1991-1998

10

1

Personal correspondence, Tom Barden,  n.d.

     
   

Series V. Photographs

9

5

Photographs, Craig Holden’s childhood, 1971- 1985

9

6

Photographs, 1986- 1987

9

7

Photographs, Craig Holden (adult)

9

8

Photographs, Lisa Holden (wife)

9

9

Photographs, Holden’s children

9

10

Photographs, family/wedding

9

11

Photographs, Australian book tour

9

12

Photographs, Book bio photo and test shots

     
   

Series VI.  Awards and Achievements

9

13

Achievements and awards, junior high and high school

9

14

Degrees

9

15

Cutbank Publisher, 1986-1987

9

16

Delacorte Press, contract, 1993

     
   

Series VII.  Miscellaneous

9

17

Miscellaneous, genealogy research

9

18

Miscellaneous, notes, stories, exercises

9

19

Personal memorabilia, invitations, school activities, class photo etc…

9

20

Personal, miscellaneous

9

21

Personal scrapbook 1, McTigue and Rogers, 1973-1975

9

22

Personal scrapbook 2, Rogers and U.T., 1975-1978

9

23

Publishing, procedures and guidelines

9

24

Questionnaires and biographies

9

25

Rejection letters (graduate school), Yale Review, and others

 

Last Updated: 11/14/12