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Ivan Doig Books In Order

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Publication Order of Montana Trilogy Books

English Creek (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dancing at the Rascal Fair (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride With Me, Mariah Montana (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of Montana Trilogy Books

Dancing at the Rascal Fair(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
English Creek(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ride With Me, Mariah Montana(1990)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Two Medicine Country Books

Bucking the Sun (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mountain Time (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prairie Nocturne (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Eleventh Man (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bartender's Tale (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Bus to Wisdom (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Whistling Season Books

The Whistling Season (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Work Song (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sweet Thunder (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Sea Runners (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

News, a Consumer's Guide (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Utopian America (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
This House of Sky (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Winter Brothers (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inside This House of Sky (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heart Earth (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig, an acclaimed American writer and reporter, was renowned for his impressive portfolio of sixteen both fiction and non-fiction publications that primarily showcased life in his homeland of Montana. His works painted a vivid portrait of post-WWII western America, captivating readers with its rich narrative and riveting characters. Doig was celebrated for his creative prowess, his ability to develop engaging protagonists and his skill in spinning narratives that kept his audience thoroughly entertained.

Much of Doig’s storytelling revolved around various locales, from the sharp edges of the Rocky Mountain Front to the serene beaches of Alaska’s coast, the peaceful idyll of Puget Sound and up to Oregon. A testament to his writing talent, the Chicago Tribune praised him in 1987 for his narrative. Above all, Doig maintained a steadfast belief that the tales of the ordinary folks deserved to be shared and celebrated.

In his illustrious career, Doig bagged multiple honors for his works. His 1977 memoir, ‘This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind’, was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Contemporary Thought. The University of Colorado acknowledged him with the Wallace Stegner Award in 2007, and his 2006 novel, ‘The Whistling Season’, found an esteemed spot in the New York Times best-seller list.

He was the proud recipient of the Distinguished Achievement award from the Western Literature Association and was unique in being the only alive author to have both his fiction and non-fiction works fall into the San Francisco Chronicle poll of top 12 best books of the 20th century. The documentary, ‘Ivan Doig: Landscapes of a Western Mind’, produced by Montana PBS and 4:08 productions, paid tribute to Doig’s significant contributions to literature.

Early and Personal Life

Ivan Clark Doig, an eminent American author, was brought into this world on June 27, 1939, in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Born to Charles Doig, a ranch worker, and Bernita Ringer Doig, a ranch cook, he faced the loss of his mother at the tender age of six and was subsequently raised by his father and grandmother, Elizabeth “Bessie” Ringer.

Their support and care saw him through a childhood filled with moves and changes, with the family ultimately settling in Dupuyer, Montana, where they herded sheep near the Rocky Mountain Front. The young Doig found solace in the written word, immersing himself in comics, sports pages, and influential magazines of the era.

Doig’s intellectual journey was one of hard work and notable achievements. After standing second in his high school graduating class of 21 students at Valier High School in Valier, Montana, he received a full scholarship to Northwestern University. Here, he pursued a bachelor’s degree, graduated in 1961, and then went on to complete a master’s degree in journalism a year later. His academic path continued to the University of Washington, where he earned a Ph.D. in American history, focusing his research on the 19th-century lawyer, John J. McGilvra.

Several prominent figures left a lasting impact on Doig, shaping him into the gifted writer he would become. Notable among them were his high school English and Latin teacher, Frances Tidyman, and Sam Jamison and Ben Baldwin, who introduced him to reporting and broadcast news during his time at Northwestern.

After his formal education, Doig’s life took an unexpected turn when he was drafted in the Air Force Reserve in 1962, but was released from active duty the following year. Life blessed him with the companionship of his wife, Carol Doig, a revered English professor at a university. Despite his cyclical battle with a medical condition diagnosed in 2001 and substantial medical challenges that followed, Doig continued to contribute significantly to the literary world until his passing in 2015.

Writing Career

Before embodying his vocation as a novelist, Ivan Doig presented his writing skills in a diverse array of settings. He contributed articles to newspapers and magazines as a freelancer and served roles in the editorial sphere including time with the Lindsay-Schaub newspaper chain in Decatur, Illinois, and The Rotarian magazine in Evanston, Illinois. Additionally, he utilized his skills in his work for the United States Forest Service, demonstrating his versatility as a writer.

Doig’s prose thrived on the vivid imagery of his homeland, Montana. He successfully weaved a tapestry of family life in this serene western landscape, skillfully blending personal memories with regional history. His notable works include the cherished “McCaskill trilogy” that chronicles a century of Montana’s statehood. Even after his death, Ivan Doig’s legacy is preserved in the Montana State University Library Merrill G. Burlingame Special Collections, thanks to his wife, Carol Doig.

This extensive collection houses manuscripts, diaries, and an array of multimedia materials, ensuring the preservation and accessibility of Doig’s literary contributions to the world.

Two Medicine Country

Ivan Doig released his seventh installment in the ‘Two Medicine Country’ series on June 1, 2006. The novel, titled ‘The Whistling Season’, was published by Harcourt, a well-established publication house. It continued Doig’s successful historical exploration of his home state, Montana.

In 1909, Oliver Milliron, a widower, is moved to hire Rose Llewellyn, a housekeeper with “sound morals” who cannot cook but “doesn’t bite” by her own admission, and her scholarly brother, Morris Morgan. They settle in Marias Coulee, Montana, amid an influx of homesteaders lured by a promising irrigation project.

When the local teacher elopes, Morris steps in, ushering in a unique style of education for Oliver’s sons and the local school’s lively students.

The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig, beautifully depicts a bygone era and its intriguing characters.

Sweet Thunder

The historical western novel ‘Sweet Thunder’ was released on August 20, 2013. The celebrated publishing house, Riverhead Books, brought forth this work to the literary world. As the third contribution to the ‘Morrie Morgan’ series and the eleventh entry in the overarching ‘Two Medicine Country’ saga, the book once again carried forward Doig’s illustrative portrayal of Montana’s history.

Morrie Morgan, a beloved character, returns to Butte, Montana, in the winter of 1920 after receiving a peculiar inheritance, kickstarting the events in ‘Sweet Thunder’. This inheritance, while seeming like a fortune, appears more of a financial burden, mirroring the struggles faced by the miners against the dominant Anaconda Copper Mining Company.

Morrie finds himself in the role of an editor at a burgeoning union newspaper, challenging Anaconda’s supremacy. As he navigates this battle, he also seeks to secure his own lasting love, manifesting a personal struggle intertwined with his professional journey.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ivan Doig

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