Russell Martin directed, wrote, and produced the highly acclaimed and award-winning documentary Beautiful Faces, filmed in Mexico City, which premiered in 2012. He is a producer and co-writer of the award-winning documentary film Two Spirits and an award-winning, internationally published author of two critically acclaimed novels, The Sorrow of Archaeology and Beautiful Islands, as well as many nonfiction books. He has written for Time, the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, and National Public Radio.

His nonfiction book Beethoven's Hair, a United States bestseller and a Washington Post Book of the Year, has been published in twenty-one translated editions and is the subject of a Gemini-award-winning film of the same name. His books have been optioned by Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises, the Denver Center Theatre Company, and New World Television. He is, says Kirkus Reviews, “first and foremost a masterful storyteller.”

His highly acclaimed book, Picasso's War, has been published in seven international editions; Out of Silence, was named by the Bloomsbury Review as one of fifteen best books of its first fifteen years of publication, and A Story That Stands Like A Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West, won the Caroline Bancroft History Prize.

When he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Colorado College in 1995, the citation read, in part, “Mr. Martin offers to general audiences precise and accurate, but highly readable, studies of extraordinarily complex issues. He does more: he sees beyond what is already known; he moves beyond synthesis to new insights. His work is disciplined, analytical, and creative. It is also profoundly humane.”

Other Works

  • The Sorrow of Archaeology, a novel

  • Picasso’s War: The Destruction of Guernica and the Masterpiece That Changed the World

  • Beethoven’s Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved

  • Out of Silence: A Journey into Language

  • New Writers of the Purple Sage, Collected and With an Introduction by Russell Martin, editor

  • A Story That Stands Like A Dam: Glen Canyon and the Struggle for the Soul of the West

  • Beautiful Islands, a novel

  • The Color Orange: A Super Bowl Season with The Denver Broncos

  • Matters Gray and White: A Neurologist, His Patients, and the Mysteries of the Brain

  • Entering Space, co-author with Joseph P. Allen

  • Writers of the Purple Sage: An Anthology of Recent Western Writing, co-editor

  • Cowboy: The Enduring Myth of the Wild West


Awards and Recognition

  • Book of the Year, Beethoven’s Hair, Washington Post Book World
  • Colorado Book Award, Beethoven’s Hair
  • Doctor of Humane Letters, Colorado College
  • Fifteen Best Books of the Past 15 Years, Bloomsbury Review, Out of Silence
  • “Book Plate,” Friends of the Denver Public Library, dinner honoring twenty Colo-rado authors
  • Official Book of the United States Pavilion, Expo ‘86, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Entering Space
  • “Cliff Dwellers,” short story, optioned for film by the Denver Center for the Per-forming Arts
  • Caroline Bancroft History Prize, A Story That Stands Like A Dam
  • Finalist, Spur Award, Best Nonfiction Book of 1990, Western Writers of America, A Story That Stands Like A Dam
  • Thomas Watson Foundation Fellowship, independent international work in crea-tive writing, Great Britain and Central America