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This title in other editions

The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up in the Big Dry

by

The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up in the Big Dry Cover

ISBN13: 9781619021617
ISBN10: 1619021617
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Mountain and the Fathers explores the life of boys and men in the unforgiving, harsh world north of the Bull Mountains of eastern Montana in a drought afflicted area called the Big Dry, a land that chews up old and young alike. Joe Wilkins was born into this world, raised by a young mother and elderly grandfather following the untimely death of his father. That early loss stretches out across the Big Dry, and Wilkins uses his own story and those of the young boys and men growing up around him to examine the violence, confusion, and rural poverty found in this distinctly American landscape.

Ultimately, these lives put forth a new examination of myth and manhood in the American West and cast a journalistic eye on how young men seek to transcend their surroundings in the search for a better life. Rather than dwell on grief or ruin, Wilkins' memoir posits that it is our stories that sustain us, and The Mountain and the Fathers, much like the work of Norman Maclean or Jim Harrison, heralds the arrival of an instant literary classic.

Review:

“Joe Wilkins writes his truths straight from the broken heart of a broken land. When I read his personal stories, so lyrically and wondrously imagined, I feel a beautiful and sometimes terrifying emotion rise up in me — mythic, redemptive, and sustaining. If you want to read what matters, read this.” Kim Barnes, Pulitzer Prize Finalist for In the Wilderness

Review:

“Joe Wilkins sketches of life in Montana's Big Dry country, north of Billings and halfway to nowhere, are filled with a potent combination of loving poetry and bitter nostalgia. You can smell the sage and wild onions and feel how this land apart forms and twists those who live there, and sometimes kills them. Wilkins search for his father — and for himself — takes its own twist: the Big Dry may care nothing for pilgrims and father seekers, but it marks its own as surely as a father marks a son.” John N. Maclean

Review:

“Joe Wilkins grew up on the enormous plains of eastern Montana. He found plenty to respect and revere and plenty to escape. And he learned the stories and how to tell them. The Mountain and the Fathersis vivid and compelling. We're reading it in Montana in order to understand ourselves. And for the pure pleasure we find in the storytelling.” William Kittredge

Review:

"Joe Wilkins grew up hard in the middle of nowhere — the bent-back, make-do world of the driest, loneliest country in all Montana — and after reading this memoir about the West, about myth, about manhood, about grief and transcendence, I felt at once heartbroken and hopeful and ultimately awed by his ability to twist sentences like barbed wire, his voice wondrously rich with dirt-and-gravel poetry." Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding

Review:

“Wilkins — who writes out of the James Wright and Richard Hugo tradition — has a voice all his own. Each sentence is a hand-built and beautiful thing….The words at time feel old and weary. Sometimes they feel expansive like Montana's plains. Sometimes they suffocate the reader under the weight of expectations. Other times they are so dry and barren that they nearly blow off the page. But they are always poetic, and they always sing in a voice that so few writers possess.” Brevity

Review:

The Mountain and the Fathers is a wonderfully rendered portrait of starkly beautiful rural life and a haunting search for what it means to be a man in the American West. Wilkins is a poet; his eye for detail is clear and he writes with the narrative grace of high lonesome prairie wind.” Elliot Bay Books

Review:

“Joe Wilkins's writing in Orion and elsewhere evokes the difficult and formative weight of his home place — eastern Montana's Big Dry. In his new memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, Wilkins gathers flashes of his early life there, and arranges them in ways that are graceful and hard and beautiful.” Scott Gast, Orion

Review:

“Page after page and sentence after sentence, this is one of the best-written and most readable books to come across this reader's desk, worthy of keeping company with such excellent nonfiction such as A River Runs Through It, Blue Highways, and Tom Montag's Curlew.” Briar Cliff Review

About the Author

Joe Wilkins lives now with his wife and two young children on the north Iowa prairie, where he teaches writing at Waldorf College. His poems, essays, and stories have appeared in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review, Harvard Review, Mid-American Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, The Sun, Orion, and Slate. His work has won numerous awards and honors, and he is the winner of the Richard J. Margolis Award of Blue Mountain Center, which goes to “a promising new journalist or essayist whose work combines warmth, humor, wisdom, and concern with social justice.”

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

triple7sss, June 5, 2013 (view all comments by triple7sss)
This is a tremendously powerful narrative of growing up in a harsh and unforgiving climate with a way and manner of life that few probably understand exists in the modern US today. Having lost his father at a young age, the author explores where he found example, guidance and protection as well as where he failed to find those components in the community that exists uniquely in Big Dry and Hi-line of Montana. Wilkins is very successful in conveying how the landscape and community reduce most elements of life to essentials and ways of escape. The story of what the author had to do to keep the coal burning furnace running and how that was just a fact of life no different that eating or sleeping had a strong effect on the perspective that readers can glean from the comparison to the truly few serious trials that most of us face on a daily basis.

A great read and one that has a great deal of staying power. I've known a fair number of people who grew up in that area of Montana and Wilkins story rings very true. The Mountain and the Fathers can provide a valuable relief against which to gauge the "inconveniences" of life as well as the effect of recognizing where a father-less boy finds the attributes in men that he will absorb and live up to as well as those he can reject and how to compare himself to the stories and perception of dead father who in some ways has been mythologized.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781619021617
Author:
Wilkins, Joe
Publisher:
Counterpoint LLC
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Biography
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Montana

The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing Up in the Big Dry New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Counterpoint LLC - English 9781619021617 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Joe Wilkins writes his truths straight from the broken heart of a broken land. When I read his personal stories, so lyrically and wondrously imagined, I feel a beautiful and sometimes terrifying emotion rise up in me — mythic, redemptive, and sustaining. If you want to read what matters, read this.”
"Review" by , “Joe Wilkins sketches of life in Montana's Big Dry country, north of Billings and halfway to nowhere, are filled with a potent combination of loving poetry and bitter nostalgia. You can smell the sage and wild onions and feel how this land apart forms and twists those who live there, and sometimes kills them. Wilkins search for his father — and for himself — takes its own twist: the Big Dry may care nothing for pilgrims and father seekers, but it marks its own as surely as a father marks a son.”
"Review" by , “Joe Wilkins grew up on the enormous plains of eastern Montana. He found plenty to respect and revere and plenty to escape. And he learned the stories and how to tell them. The Mountain and the Fathersis vivid and compelling. We're reading it in Montana in order to understand ourselves. And for the pure pleasure we find in the storytelling.”
"Review" by , "Joe Wilkins grew up hard in the middle of nowhere — the bent-back, make-do world of the driest, loneliest country in all Montana — and after reading this memoir about the West, about myth, about manhood, about grief and transcendence, I felt at once heartbroken and hopeful and ultimately awed by his ability to twist sentences like barbed wire, his voice wondrously rich with dirt-and-gravel poetry."
"Review" by , “Wilkins — who writes out of the James Wright and Richard Hugo tradition — has a voice all his own. Each sentence is a hand-built and beautiful thing….The words at time feel old and weary. Sometimes they feel expansive like Montana's plains. Sometimes they suffocate the reader under the weight of expectations. Other times they are so dry and barren that they nearly blow off the page. But they are always poetic, and they always sing in a voice that so few writers possess.”
"Review" by , The Mountain and the Fathers is a wonderfully rendered portrait of starkly beautiful rural life and a haunting search for what it means to be a man in the American West. Wilkins is a poet; his eye for detail is clear and he writes with the narrative grace of high lonesome prairie wind.”
"Review" by , “Joe Wilkins's writing in Orion and elsewhere evokes the difficult and formative weight of his home place — eastern Montana's Big Dry. In his new memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, Wilkins gathers flashes of his early life there, and arranges them in ways that are graceful and hard and beautiful.”
"Review" by , “Page after page and sentence after sentence, this is one of the best-written and most readable books to come across this reader's desk, worthy of keeping company with such excellent nonfiction such as A River Runs Through It, Blue Highways, and Tom Montag's Curlew.”
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