By Ginny Merriam
Dark Spaces:Montana’s Historic Penitentiary at Deer Lodge
By Ellen Baumler
University of New Mexico Press, 2008, 117 pp., $24.95
Montana Historical Society historian Ellen Baumler began this book with Missoula architect James McDonald’s 1981 Historic Structures Report on the old prison. From there, she picked up the feeling of the place and carries it into her new book: “It is not a place of hope, but a place with a dark past.” She tells its story in words and in pictures by J.M. Cooper.
The Drama Teacher’s Survival Guide: A Complete Tool for Theatre Arts
By Margaret Johnson, MA. ’71
Meriwether Publishing Ltd., 2007,
256 pp., $19.95
Drama teachers can believe Margaret Johnson’s tips, which run from the best way to remove blood from a costume (peroxide), to how to manage a box office or how to pick your battles. Johnson led the drama department at Sentinel High School in Missoula for thirty-seven years, where she was revered as a tireless creative force.
The Baker’s Boy
By Barry Kitterman, M.F.A. ’81
Southern Methodist University Press, 2008, 323 pp., $22.50
Barry Kitterman earned his M.F.A. in creative writing at UM. Here he gives us his first novel. His character Tanner Johnson has left his pregnant wife for night-shift work as a baker while he tries to make peace with painful memories of teaching at a boys’ reform school in Belize.
Getting Ready to Win
By Don Read
Vantage Press, Inc., 2008, 253 pp., $15.95
Football coach Don Read, who led The University of Montana Grizzlies to their first national championship in 1995, brings forty years of coaching wisdom to his readers. It all comes down to motivation, effort, and heart. His fans will recognize him through quotes such as: “All things are possible if you believe they are.”
By Mary Clearman Blew, ’62, M.A. ’63
University of Nebraska Press, 2008, 448 pp., $24.95
Mary Clearman Blew grew up in the big landscape outside Lewistown and has given her readers short stories, essays, and a story of her frontier childhood. Here she debuts as a novelist with a story of a rural schoolteacher starting over and coming of age at nearly sixty in the Western landscape.
Condors in Canyon Country
By Sophie A. H. Osborn, M.S. ’99
Grand Canyon Association, 2007, 150 pp., $18.95
UM graduate Sophie Osborn lives in Wyoming and won the National Book Award with her engaging prose and photographs of this astonishing bird and its return from near-extinction to the Grand Canyon, where its nine-foot wingspan again graces the skies.
By David Allan Cates, M.F.A. ’92
Unbridled Books, 2008, 297 pp., $25.95
Missoula writer David Allan Cates tells a story of freedom and spirit in his third novel. Freeman Walker, freed from slavery as a young man, journeys to England and back in Civil War times to learn about himself and the ironic responsibilities of freedom.
Male Armor: The Soldier-Hero in Contemporary American Culture
By Jon Robert Adams, M.A. ’94
University of Virginia Press, 2008, 160 pp., $17.50
The image of the war-going soldier as the apex of American masculinity shows up in literature from the novels of Ernest Hemingway to the theater stage of Streamers. These portrayals draw us to war and make soldiers’ re-entries into normal life a challenge, UM graduate and English professor Jon Robert Adams shows in his new book.
How to Have the Best Trained Gun Dog
By Joan Bailey, ’56, M.A. ’58
Swan Valley Press, 2009, 117 pp., $23.95
Can just ten minutes a day for three to four months produce a canine companion fully trained to be the working partner of a human bird hunter? Yes, says Joan Bailey, award-winning upland bird and waterfowl hunting writer and UM graduate, and she shows you how.
By Patrick Lee
Patrick C. Lee, Inc. Publishing, 2008, 277 pp., $16.95
The construction history of Hungry Horse Dam and the boomtowns of the nearby canyon are the backdrop for this second novel. Patrick Lee, who grew up in Butte’s Dublin Gulch and lives in Kalispell, tells the story of a dying man who faces confession of the crime he committed fifty-five years ago.