Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Five notable books on the American West

Ivan Doig was born in Montana and grew up along the Rocky Mountain Front, the dramatic landscape that has inspired much of his writing. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, with a Ph.D. in history, Doig's novels include The Whistling Season, The Eleventh Man, and the newly released Sweet Thunder. His nonfiction includes his classic first book, the memoir This House of Sky. He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, and multiple PNBA and MPBA Book Awards, among other honors.

At The Daily Beast, Doig named five of his favorite books on the American West, including:
Monte Walsh
by Jack Schaefer

Not Shane? Why? Schaefer’s lesser-known but more valid western novel is big, long, gabby with ranch dialect that sounds just right to my bunkhouse-trained ears, and is our best portrait of the cowboy as drifter and what happens to him when he slows down and the times catch up with him. Made into a pleasurable movie starring Lee Marvin—worth seeing just for Jack Palance as a good guy.
Read about another book on Doig's list.

--Marshal Zeringue