Montana's stunning landscape shapes all who live here and all who visit.
In twenty powerful pieces of writing—essays, memoirs, short stories—the state's finest contemporary writers explore the plains, rivers, and mountains of Big Sky Country. They show us how natural beauty and hardship are two sides of the same coin, and how sometimes the only way to cure heartache is to visit the great outdoors.
From a hardscrabble upbringing to the pain of losing the family land, from death on a river to the awe of landing a big fish, from backcountry encounters with grizzly bears to an out-of-stater's happiness at making Montana her home, A Million Acres offers a wonderfully diverse range of experiences and perspectives. Framing these words are twenty-eight breathtaking photographs that render these open spaces in gorgeous color.
Come to Montana: in words, in pictures, in person. And see what makes the Last Best Place worth saving.
Carrie La Seur
Janet Skeslien Charles
Allen Morris Jones
Keir Graff is the author of six novels for adults, three novels for middle-graders, and short stories published in periodicals ranging from the Missoula Independent to the Chicago Reader. He is also the co-editor, with James Grady, of the anthology Montana Noir. Born and raised in Missoula, Graff now lives in Chicago, where he has worked in publishing for two decades. He returns to Montana every chance he gets.
Alexis Bonogofsky is a fourth-generation Montanan, goat and sheep rancher, and freelance writer and photographer who lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana where she grew up. Her writing and photography can be found on her website East of Billings and in various news outlets and magazines including Mountain Journal, Montana Quarterly, Farm 406, and High Desert Journal.
Since its establishment in 1978, The Montana Land Reliance has partnered with Montana's landowners to permanently protect more than one million acres of agricultural land, fish and wildlife habitat, and open space in the state.
This book is a celebration of that achievement.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction, by Keir Graff
“Eleven Kinds of Sky,” by Joe Wilkins
“Breaking through the Fence,” by Russell Rowland
“The Soul of the Prairie,” by Jim Robbins
Excerpt from The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur
“Nothing More Than Everything,” by Antonia Malchik
“I'd Rather Give up Heaven than Montana,” by LeDoux Hansen
“The Last Drowning,” by Jamie Harrison
“Townsend Solitaire,” by Eric Heidle
“What You Do for Fun,” by Maile Meloy
“My Father's Cathedral,” by Janet Skeslien Charles
“Out There,” by James Grady
“A Fine Spring Day,” by Allen Morris Jones
“Finding Home,” by Gwen Florio
“Silence Itself,” by Sterling HolyWhiteMountain
“Surrender,” by Christine Carbo
“The Beast in Me,” by Maxim Loskutoff
“Fourteen Ways of Looking at the Clark Fork,” by Caroline Patterson
“The Ark of the Yaak,” by Rick Bass
“Water Levels,” by Keir Graff
List of Contributors
Location of photographs