Synopses & Reviews
Montana has long drawn the outcasts and the dreamers, the searchers and the hiders—and the writers. Here are twenty-one stories from the frontier of our country and the edge of our national imagination.
The cast of characters is as big as the state. Theres the cuckolded father in Richard Fords classic, “Great Falls,” or Ralph Beers hero in “Big Spenders,” sitting with his umbrella drink, dreaming about palm trees and white crescent beaches. Theres also Thomas McGuanes eavesdropping narrator in “Like a Leaf,” watching other peoples lives, always from a distance. Chris Offutts protagonist in “Tough People” is trying to earn enough money in amateur boxing to get out of town, while Mary Clearman Blews narrator in “Bears and Lions” describes how her home is slipping away—how the West is leaving her behind.
Montana has for years been a special place for writers. The Best of Montanas Short Fiction is long overdue.
"Never merely decorative, the wild, sometimes "wide open spaces" in The Best of Montana Short Fiction stretch farther than years and go deeper than character, rooted, as they are, in the fundamentals of life and death." --San Diego Union Tribune
"The real Montana lies in the rich variety of characters and situations created by the authors in this collection."--The Denver Post
"...a remarkable anthology of twenty-one short stories." --Forecast
"This is a terrific collection...the 21 stories here work brilliantly as a collective voice." --Billings Gazette (Montana)
"This is a fine book, top-heavy with talent."--Booklist
Twenty-one stories from the best writers in Big Sky Country.
About the Author
is a retired Regents Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Montana. His most recent books are The Nature of Generosity, Southwestern Homelands, and The Best Stories of William Kittredge. He lives in Missoula, Montana. ALLEN MORRIS JONES is the former editor of Big Sky Journal. His books include A Quiet Place of Violence: Hunting and Ethics in the Missouri River Breaks and Last Year's River. His writing has appeared in Men's Journal, Town and Country, Sports Afield, and Gray's Sporting Journal. He lives in Livingston, Montana.
Table of Contents
(1) Days of Heaven by Rick Bass (2) Custer on Mondays by Jon Billman (3) Bears and Lions by Mary Clearman Blew (4) Junk by Kevin Canty (5) Grounded by Claire Davis (6) Under the Wheat by Rick DeMarinis (7)Blue Waltz With Coyotes by Jeanne Dixon (8) Real Indians by Debra Magpie Earling (9) Great Falls by Richard Ford (10) Hoot by Pete Fromm (11) Jacob Dies by Allen Morris Jones (12) Morphine by David Long (13) Like a Leaf by Thomas McGuane (14) Heart by Neil McMahon (15) It's Come to This by Annick Smith (16) The Mournig of Ignacia Rosa by Kim Zupan (17) Do You Hear Your Mother Talking? by William Kittredge (18) Big Spenders by Ralph Beer (19) Ranch Girl by Maile Meloy (20) Father, Lover, Deadman, Dreamer by Melanie Rae Thon