The Norman Maclean Reader
In his eighty-seven years, Norman Maclean played many parts: fisherman, logger, firefighter, scholar, teacher. But it was a role he took up late in life, that of writer, that won him enduring fame and critical acclaim—as well as the devotion of readers worldwide. Though the 1976 collection A River Runs Through It and Other Stories was the only book Maclean published in his lifetime, it was an unexpected success, and the moving family tragedy of the title novella—based largely on Maclean’s memories of his childhood home in Montana—has proved to be one of the most enduring American stories ever written.
The Norman Maclean Reader is a wonderful addition to Maclean’s celebrated oeuvre. Bringing together previously unpublished materials with incidental writings and selections from his more famous works, the Reader will serve as the perfect introduction for readers new to Maclean, while offering longtime fans new insight into his life and career.
In this evocative collection, Maclean as both a writer and a man becomes evident. Perceptive, intimate essays deal with his career as a teacher and a literary scholar, as well as the wealth of family stories for which Maclean is famous. Complete with a generous selection of letters, as well as excerpts from a 1986 interview, The Norman Maclean Reader provides a fully fleshed-out portrait of this much admired author, showing us a writer fully aware of the nuances of his craft, and a man as at home in the academic environment of the University of Chicago as in the quiet mountains of his beloved Montana.
Various and moving, the works collected in The Norman Maclean Reader serve as both a summation and a celebration, giving readers a chance once again to hear one of American literature’s most distinctive voices.
THE CUSTER WRITINGS
Edward S. Luce:
Commanding General (Retired),
Department of the Little Bighorn
From the Unfinished Custer Manuscript
Chapter 1: The Hill
Chapter 2: The Sioux
Chapter 3: The Cheyennes
Chapter 4: In Business
Last Chapter: Shrine to Defeat
A MACLEAN SAMPLER
"This Quarter I am Taking McKeon":
"Billiards is a Good Game":
Retrievers Good and Bad
Logging and Pimping and "Your Pal, Jim"
The Woods, Books, and Truant Officers
The Pure and the Good
On Baseball and Backpacking
From Young Men and Fire
Interview with Norman Maclean
Letters to Robert M. Utley, 1955-1979
Letters to Marie Borroff, 1949-1986
Letters to Nick Lyons 1976-1981
Letters to Lois Jansson, 1979-1981
Suggestions for Further Reading
“Smartly edited . . . the book brings together manuscripts and letters found among Maclean’s papers after his death in 1990, as well as hard-to-find essays, lectures and interviews. Maclean did not draw a distinction between his life and his fiction, and the material in the Reader, much of it available for the first time, burnishes his achievement.”