Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson will take over in July as the producer for "The Write Question" on Montana Public Radio.

"There are a lot of different kinds of outsiders in Montana. There are a lot of white outsiders who are setting themselves apart, whether by living in compounds, or living off the land, or just living an alternative lifestyle. Montana is certainly a lot more multicultural than it was when I was growing up. . .The choice of having Sid come from Mumbai in particular. . . I mean this is ultimately a story about climate change, about the environment. Maybe it was just  too neat and dramatic of a pairing, but given that he finds himself in the dry, arid, continually burning place, I was just casting about trying to find something that felt like the opposite of that and thinking about the floods that the people of Mumbai had faced, it just kind of sprang unbidden." -- Keir Graff

Fraught With Difficulties is a historical novel about the Lewis and Clark expedition that is solidly grounded in the original journals, which were kept by several members of the mission. Told through the character of Meriwether Lewis, the novel offers a detailed account of the their experiences in which the factual is expanded through created dialogue. 

"They do say women are most at risk of being beat up during the Super Bowl, statistically. So I was just thinking, when are men most dangerous? And it seems—I could put war in there—but when that kind of energy is clustered and then what does the Great Mother of the Animals think of that?" -- Melissa Kwasny

"I was reminded of my wife telling me to make white chicken chili.  'How do I do that?' I said.  'All the ingredients are on the counter.  Do this, this and this.  I’ll be home at 6:00.'  Ok, simple enough. When it was done it tasted like dishwater.  After doing the dishes.  Writing is the same way."  -- Erik Armitage

"I want to be on the same side as people who are drifting away from consumerism and towards a more meaningful life and I think that minimalism is a good, shall we say, gateway drug, because you can do with less. But some of the choices I find people claiming to be minimalist are actually just using more stuff and making their house look more pretty. I just want people to think harder and ask more difficult questions about where their stuff comes from. I want them to ask, “Where does my money come from and where does it go when I spend it?” Because that’s really what it’s all about. It’s not really about, “I’m only going to have 100 possessions.” If you have 100 possessions and one of them is a smart phone, then you’re using more carbon that 95% of the people on this planet. If you’re flying on airplanes, you’re not a minimalist. You can’t make that claim." 

Author Mark Sundeen discusses his book, "The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America" on this episode of "The Write Question."

". . . I felt suffocated by the amount of strictly Montanan writing. I have never gone fishing or camping, had just begun to hike, and while I loved nature, I wasn’t overwhelmingly inspired by all the A River Runs Through It-esque literature." -- Emma Mcmullen

"The point I was at when I was writing a lot of these stories, let’s face it, I was in my mid to late twenties. I had a cheating heart, still do. That personal aspect of it, I think, most of the men I know, it’s something they’ve struggled with in their life, so to make it any other way would not be true to my reality. In a collection of stories I do think you have a duty to try to show your breadth as a writer and so as a criticism it’s pretty legit because if I am portraying a certain aspect of my characters in a repetitive manner, that’s something I definitely don’t want to do. So I would probably agree with your assessment of that, which is one of the things I did like about my decision to put a longer story at the end from a female perspective just to kind of show I’m more than maybe just a one-trick pony. Hopefully." -- Callan Wink

"You don’t really know a place until you have seen the heartbreak behind it, and sometimes that heartbreak makes the picture a little less pretty. . . The confines of my small town, the heaviness of the stories of the people within it, was something I thought I could erase if I ran far enough away. " -- Elsie Wipplinger

The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado’s headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Learn more from David Owen on this episode of The Write Question.

"Clovis is a lyrical tale set in the New West where the interests of oil companies clash with the need to preserve and record the artifacts left by long gone inhabitants of the land. In this novel, Hanna and her archeological compatriots are hired by CanAm Oil Company to assess the impact of an oil line on historical native sites. The complex relationships between her and her co-workers fascinate. The lush descriptions of the natural beauty she encounters are seductive. This is truly a wonderful look into the unique personality of people who choose to make a living doing field work.

Pages