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The Write Question
Program Website: http://mtpr.org/term/write-question-0
The Write Question is a weekly, half-hour program that explores
writing and publishing in the Western United States. Chérie
Newman, a producer with Montana
Public Radio, interviews writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
And, occasionally, a publisher or editor. The program includes readings
and information about the publishing process. The Write Question
receives funding from Humanities
Montana and the Montana Cultural Trust.
In Fourth of July Creek, by PEN prize-winning writer Smith Henderson, social worker Pete Snow comes face to face with a boy's profoundly disturbed father, Jeremiah, after trying to help the undernourished, nearly feral eleven-year-old boy living in the Montana wilderness. With courage and caution, Pete slowly earns a measure of trust from this paranoid survivalist itching for a final conflict that will signal the coming End Times. But as Pete's own family spins out of control, Pearl's activities spark the full-blown interest of the F.B.I., putting Pete at the center of a massive manhunt from which no one will emerge unscathed.
If you like movies, this book is for you—Not to be Missed: Fifty-four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film, by Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times and NPR film critic. Turan discovered film as a child left undisturbed to watch Million Dollar Movie on WOR-TV Channel 9 in New York, a daily showcase for older Hollywood features. It was then that he developed a love of cinema that never left him and honed his eye for the most acute details and the grandest of scenes. Not to be Missed blends cultural criticism, historical anecdote, and inside-Hollywood controversy. Turan’s selection of favorites ranges across all genres. From All About Eve to Seven Samurai to Sherlock Jr., these are all timeless films—classic and contemporary, familiar and obscure, with big budgets and small—each underscoring the truth of director Ingmar Bergman’s observation that “no form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.”
Catherine Lemay is a young archaeologist on her way to southeast Montana, with a huge task before her—a canyon “as deep as the devil’s own appetites.” Working ahead of a major dam project, she has one summer to prove nothing of historical value will be lost in the flood. From the moment she arrives, nothing is familiar—the vastness of the canyon itself mocks the contained, artifact-rich digs in post-Blitz London where she cut her teeth. And then there’s John H, a former mustanger and veteran of the U.S. Army’s last mounted cavalry campaign, living a fugitive life in the canyon. John H inspires Catherine to see beauty in the stark landscape, and her heart opens to more than just the vanished past. In Painted Horses, Malcolm Brooks sends a dauntless young woman on a heroic quest and sings a love song to the horseman’s vanishing way of life.
The author of Dirt Works: An Education in the Woods, Christine Byl, first encountered the national parks the way most of us do: on vacation. But after she graduated from college, broke and ready for a new challenge, she joined a Glacier National Park trail crew as a seasonal “traildog” maintaining mountain trails for the millions of visitors Glacier draws every year. Byl first thought of the job as a paycheck, a summer diversion, a welcome break from “the real world” before going on to graduate school. She came to find out that work in the woods on a trail crew was more demanding, more rewarding—more real—than she ever imagined.
In 1956, Dell Parsons' family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana, the way many military families did after the war. His father, Bev, was a talkative airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. Their mother Neeva—shy, artistic—was alienated from their father's small-town world. It was more bad instincts and bad luck that Dell's parents decided to rob the bank. They weren't reckless people. In his novel Canada, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford tells their story.