A book club favorite for novels like The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace [read our interview], Mary Doria Russell has never been afraid to take on new frontiers. That’s exactly what she’s doing in her fifth novel (after 2008′s Dreamers of the Day), Eight to Five, Against, which will be published by Random House in May 2011. The book stars gunslinger Doc Holliday and his longtime girlfriend Kate, aka “Big Nose Kate,” and takes place over one fateful summer in Dodge City, Kansas. It’s a big change from the settings of Russell’s previous works, which focused on either Europe’s more recent past—Dreamers, Thread—or the future—Sparrow, Children of God.
While researching the novel, Russell “learned to ride horses, play classical piano and even reread all the Greek and Latin classics beloved by Doc and Kate,” according to the Random House catalog.