Montana, Warts and All | Works from “Montana Quarterly”

The Best of our First Decade

Books & Writers

Montana Warts and AllThis highly readable and difficult-to-put-down book is a fine collection of some of the best articles and stories “written by Montanans about Montanans” for Montana Quarterly over its inaugural 10 years of existence.

Some of the authors are well-established names, others may not be as familiar, but all of their stories are equally compelling. There is drama, humor, fact, fiction, history, and more assembled under headings: “Living Wild,” “Eating and Drinking,” “Truth Tellers,” and “First Montanans,” to name just a few.

Meet musician Wylie Gustafson and poet Paul Zarzyski in Scott McMillan’s piece. Travel with Alan Kesselheim and his family for a “Bittersweet Ride” down the Yellowstone River, and sit on the edge of your seat as Tim Cahill relates how he died … on a wild river trip. Stories about “Eating and Drinking” will draw you to, or steer you from, some of the state’s most colorful watering holes.

William Kittredge writes poignantly about his reaction to reading A.B. Guthrie’s The Big Sky for the first time, and goes on to tell about a visit he had with Guthrie, shortly before the literary icon’s passing.

In the fiction category, Glen Chamberlain’s “A Mother Writes a Letter to Her Son” may cause tears to well up, but Craig Lancaster’s “Cruelty to Animals” is more likely to incite a chuckle. There’s more, much more, and it’s all good.

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– Judy Shafter