Patricia Aakhus

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Patricia Aakhus
BornPatricia McDowell
(1952-05-17)May 17, 1952
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 2012(2012-05-16) (aged 59)
Evansville, Indiana, U.S.
Pen namePatricia McDowell[1]
OccupationAcademic, writer
Notable awardsCahill Award

Patricia "Patty" Aakhus (May 17, 1952 – May 16, 2012[2]), also known by her maiden name and pseudonym Patricia McDowell, was an American novelist and director of International Studies at the University of Southern Indiana.[3] She specialized in Irish themes and won Readercon's Best Imaginative Literature Award in 1990 and the Cahill Award for The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

McDowell was born in Los Angeles in 1952 to Lowell and Betsy (née Nichols) McDowell, both of whom preceded her in death, as did a brother, Mark. She earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an MFA from Norwich University.[3]


Her debut novel, The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh, is a retelling of the Irish legend of The Voyage of Máel Dúin.[4] Other publications include Astral Magic in the Renaissance: Gems, Poetry and Patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici. Magic, Ritual and Witchcraft and the short story The Spy.[3]

As educator[edit]

Aakhus was the Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and program director of International Studies at the University of Southern Indiana. She also taught classes on classical and world mythology, the history of magic, and international studies.[5]


She died from cancer in Evansville, Indiana on May 16, 2012, the day before her 60th birthday. She was survived by her husband, two children, three siblings, and other members of her extended family. At that time, she was working on a contemporary novel, Dogtown.[3]


  • The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh (1990); ISBN 0-934257-31-0
  • Daughter of the Boyne (1992); ISBN 0-86327-349-1
  • The Sorrows of Tara (1995); ISBN 0-86327-469-2


  1. ^ a b "Internet Book List". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
  2. ^ "Patricia Aakhus (1952-2012)". Evansville Courier and Press. May 20, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d University of Southern Indiana Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Reed Business Information, Inc. (1989)
  5. ^ "USI: English Department--English--Patricia Aakhus". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-04-19.