Virginia Stem Owens (Emerita)

Born in Houston, Texas, Virginia Stem Owens lives  just an hour north of there today in a house her grandfather built over fifty years ago.  Her ancestors first came to Texas in1836, the year Texas became a republic. Thus it’s not surprising that many of Owens’  books use family members and their experiences to tell the stories that span nearly two hundred years of Texas history…

Her first book, Assault on Eden, however, was set in northern New Mexico where she and her husband, with their two children and a loose collection of college students, and former Peace Corps volunteers tried living off the land for several seasons.

Owens’ writing is not limited to family or memoir.  She has written about the impact of media on religion, the Wyoming wilderness, and the new physics.    With her husband David, she wrote about capital punishment in Texas and its effect on the town of Huntsville, the nation’s death penalty capital.  Her three mystery novels are set in just such a small Texas town.

With a masters degree in English literature and another in religion, Owens also delights in delineating biblical characters for the contemporary reader.  She served for several years as the director of the Milton Center at Kansas Newman University where she directed graduate fellows in creative writing.

Owens’ latest book, Caring for Mother: A Daughter’s Long Goodbye, chronicles her mother’s long decline into Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

She and her husband work in several ongoing prison ministries in the Walls Unit in Huntsville with an aging poodle, two cats, and a varying number of chickens.


The Short Story. Extramural Independent Study Center, Kansas University, 1972.

Assault on Eden.  Eerdmans, 1977.  (Published pseudonymously under Eugenia Adams.)

A Taste of Creation.  Judson Press, 1980.

The Total Image.  Eerdmans, 1980.

And the Trees Clap Their Hands: Faith, Perception, and the New Physics. Eerdmans, 1983.  Reprinted as God Spy: Faith, Perception, and the New Physics, Alta Vista College Press, 1988.


Feast of Families.  Zondervan, 1984.  Paperback edition, Macmillan, 1988.

Wind River Winter.  Zondervan, 1987.

If You Do Love Old Men.  Eerdmans, 1990.

At Point Blank.  Baker Books, 1992.

Congregation.  Baker Books, 1992.

A Multitude of Sins.  Baker Books, 1993.

Daughters of Eve.  Navpress, 1995

Looking for Jesus, Westminster John Knox, 1999

Living Next Door to the Death House, Eerdmans, 2003.

Caring for Mother: A Daughter’s Long Goodbye, Eerdmans, 2006.

Praying with Beads (with Nan Doerr), Eerdmans, 2007.