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The Write Question
Program Website: http://mtpr.org/twq
The Write Question is a weekly, half-hour program that explores
writing and publishing in the Western United States. Chérie
Newman, a producer with Montana
Public Radio, interviews writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
And, occasionally, a publisher or editor. The program includes readings
and information about the publishing process. The Write Question
receives funding from Humanities
Montana and supporters of public radio.
On New Year’s Day, 16-year-old Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what she doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined, in On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor.
A haunting meditation on wilderness, conservation, and grief by the critically-acclaimed nature writer in his most intimate and riveting book yet. The Carry Home is both a moving celebration of the outdoor life shared between Gary Ferguson and his wife Jane, who died tragically in a canoeing accident in northern Ontario in 2005, and a chronicle of the mending, uplifting power of nature. Confronting his unthinkable loss, Ferguson set out to fulfill Jane’s final wish: the scattering of her ashes in five remote, wild locations they loved and shared.
As Elissa Washuta makes the transition from college kid to independent adult, she finds herself overwhelmed by the calamities piling up in her brain. When her mood-stabilizing medications aren’t threatening her life, they’re shoving her from depression to mania and back in the space of an hour. Her crisis of American Indian identity bleeds into other areas of self-doubt; mental illness, sexual trauma, ethnic identity, and independence become intertwined. Sifting through the scraps of her past in seventeen formally inventive chapters, Washuta aligns the strictures of her Catholic school education with Cosmopolitan’s mandates for womanhood, views memories through the distorting lens of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and contrasts her bipolar highs and lows with those of Britney Spears and Kurt Cobain. Built on the bones of fundamental identity questions as contorted by a distressed brain, My Body Is a Book of Rules pulls no punches in its self-deprecating and ferocious look at human fallibility.
David Allan Cates
In Tom Connor’s Gift, a recently-widowed doctor, stunned by grief, retreats to a cabin on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front. Inside she has a puppy and a stack of letters from an old lover. Outside, there’s a bear. As she revisits her letters, we come to see, through Tom Connor’s eyes, the dusty, broken alleys of Central America during the war years. With two narratives taken together, David Allan Cates explores themes of life-long love, about what we can see only when we are ready to see, and how hope can grow in the darkest of places.