Heart Earth

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Ivan Doig’s companion memoir to his bestselling This House of Sky—inspired by the letters his mother wrote during World War II—is “a lyrical evocation of the Doigs’ gallantly hardscrabble existence and love for the unforgiving Montana mountains” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Raised by his father and maternal grandmother, Ivan Doig grew up with only a vague memory of his mother, who died on his sixth birthday. Then he discovered a cache of her letters, and through them, a spunky, passionate, can-do woman emerged. His mother was as at home in the saddle as behind a sewing machine, and as in love with language as her son.

In this prize-winning prequel to his acclaimed memoir This House of Sky, Doig brings to life his childhood before his mother’s death, and the family’s journey from the Montana mountains to the Arizona desert and back again. “Profoundly original and lustrous,” (Kirkus Reviews) Doig eloquently captures the texture of the American West during and after World War II, the fortune of a family, and one woman’s indomitable spirit. Doig is “a colloquial stylist without equal…and Heart Earth is a book that repeatedly proves the power of language” (Los Angeles Times).
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About the author

Ivan Doig (1939-2015) was a third-generation Montanan and the author of sixteen books, including the classic memoir This House of Sky and most recently Last Bus to Wisdom. He was a National Book Award finalist and received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. Doig lived in Seattle with his wife, Carol. Visit IvanDoig.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jan 22, 2013
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9781476734439
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From one of the greatest novelists of the American West comes a surprising and riveting story set in Montana and New York during the Harlem Renaissance, drawing together an unlikely set of thwarted performers in one last inspired grasp at life's set of gold rings: love and renown.

Susan Duff -- the bossy, indomitable schoolgirl with a silver voice from the pages of Doig's most popular work, Dancing at the Rascal Fair -- has reached middle age alone, teaching voice lessons to the progeny of Helena's high society. Wesley Williamson -- business scion of a cattle-empire family -- has fallen from the heights of gubernatorial aspirations, forced out of a public career by political foes who uncovered his love affair with Susan. Years later, Susan is taken off guard when Wes arrives at her door with an unusual request: to train his chauffeur, Monty, in the ways of voice and performance.

Prairie Nocturne is the saga of these three people and their interlocked destinies. Monty is distantly known to Susan from their childhoods in the Two Medicine country, yet an enforced stranger because of the racial divide. When she realizes he possesses a singing voice of rare splendor, Susan joins Wes's Pygmalion-like project to launch Monty on a performing career -- only to find the full force of the Ku Klux Klan in their way. As Monty and Susan overcome treacherous obstacles, Wes's mysterious motives unsettle everyone, including himself, and the trio's crossed fates form a deeply longitudinal novel that raises everlasting questions of allegiance, the grip of the past, and the costs of career and passion.
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