Vardis Fisher's Boise

Some of my favorite news stories are about treasures lost and rediscovered, writes Idaho Press columnist Tim Woodward — a priceless painting found under decades of dust in someone’s attic, an unreleased Beatles song turning up in a vault, the discovery of a lost manuscript by a famous author.

A lost manuscript by Vardis Fisher recently was found after lying untouched in a folder for nearly 80 years, Woodward reports, adding, “Vardis who?” you may ask.

A fair question, he writes. All but forgotten today, Fisher was once among Idaho’s best-known writers. He was brilliant, iconoclastic, infuriating. He wrote 36 books, evoking comparisons with Thomas Wolfe and William Faulkner. He also alienated both critics and readers with his acerbic observations, which earned him the nickname “Old Irascible.”

This newly discovered book, written in 1938, is Fisher's guide to Boise at the time, a characteristically unvarnished look. Woodward writes that "Vardis Fisher's Boise" will be released in January; you can read his full column here at (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press, 

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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