Dr. Chris Harding Thornton

Nebraska, United States

Member Since: 09/01/2011

Chris Harding Thornton, a seventh-generation Nebraskan, holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and a PhD in English from the University of Nebraska, where she has taught writing and literature. She was the National Willa Cather Center’s inaugural “Nebraska Author of Note,” and her first novel, Pickard County Atlas, was chosen by Tana French (In the Woods, The Searcher) as a PBS Masterpiece “Best Mystery of 2021.” Released by the MCD imprint of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Pickard County Atlas was featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, was hailed by CrimeReads as a “Most Anticipated Crime Novel of 2021,” and is an Amazon Editor’s Pick for “Best Literature and Fiction.” In 2022, Picador released Pickard County Atlas in paperback, and a German translation, Pickard County, was published by Polar Verlag. Her second novel, Little Underworld, set in Omaha during March 1930, will be released by MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux on March 12, 2024.

Website: www.chrishardingthornton.com

Twitter Username: @chrishardingth1


  • Pickard County Atlas , MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux (January 5, 2021)
  • Pickard County , Polar Verlag (October 24, 2022)
  • Little Underworld (March 12, 2024) , MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux


  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from University of Nebraska Omaha (2005)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from University of Washington (2008)
  • Doctoral Degree in English from University of Nebraska Lincoln (2013)

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Screenwriting, Poetry