Ivan Doig, au­thor who chron­i­cled the Amer­i­can West, dies at age 75

The China Post - - LIFE -

Ivan Doig, an award-win­ning au­thor whose books set in his na­tive Mon­tana made him one of the most re­spected writ­ers of the Amer­i­can West, has died. He was 75.

Ge­off Kloske, the pub­lisher of River­head Books, said in a state­ment that Doig died Thurs­day of mul­ti­ple myeloma at his Seat­tle home.

“Ivan was one of the greats,” Kloske said. “We have lost a friend, a beloved au­thor, a na­tional trea­sure.”

His writ­ing gained him many ad­mir­ers. Aus­tralian au­thor Thomas Ke­neally said Doig was “one of the great Amer­i­can voices, full of grace, abound­ing in hu­man­ity, ease­ful in nar­ra­tion, hyp­notic in pace, grand in range.”

Doig was born in 1939 in Mon­tana. The for­mer ranch worker earned bach­e­lor’s and mas­ter’s de­grees in jour­nal­ism from North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity and a Ph.D. in his­tory from the Uni­ver­sity of Wash­ing­ton.

He wrote 16 books, in­clud­ing the so-called McCaskill tril­ogy, three nov­els about a fic­tional Mon­tana fam­ily cov­er­ing the first 100 years of state his­tory. His 1979 mem­oir, “This House of Sky,” was a fi­nal­ist for the Na­tional Book Award.

In 2007, Doig won the Wal­lace Steg­ner Award, which rec­og­nizes some­one who has “made a sus­tained con­tri­bu­tion to the cul­tural iden­tity of the West.” He was also the re­cip­i­ent of the West­ern Lit­er­a­ture As­so­ci­a­tion’s life­time Distin- guished Achieve­ment award.

His pub­lisher said that two of Doig’s later works, “The Bar­tenders Tale,” re­leased in 2012, and the yet-to-be pub­lished “Last Bus to Wis­dom,” were in­spired by ex­pe­ri­ences from Doig’s youth. But the au­thor also made it clear that his nov­els were fic­tion.

Doig is sur­vived by Carol.




This un­dated im­age re­leased by River­head Books shows au­thor Ivan Doig.

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