Montana State University

MSU Library to co-host discussion series about Ivan Doig books

April 26, 2017 -- From MSU News Service

Author Ivan Doig at work with his typewriter. Photo courtesy Doig collection.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN — Local readers are invited to join the Montana State University Library and Country Bookshelf for “Exploring Ivan Doig: A Discussion Series.”

As part of the series, each month from May through November the MSU Library and Country Bookshelf will hold a community discussion of one of Doig’s books. Each discussion will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Country Bookshelf, located at 28 W. Main St. in downtown Bozeman. The public is invited to attend any or all of the free discussions.

The full series is listed below by date and title:

Wednesday, May 10: “Whistling Season”

Wednesday, June 7: “Winter Brothers” 
Thursday, July 13: “English Creek”
Wednesday, Aug. 9: “Prairie Nocturne”
Wednesday, Sept. 13: “This House of Sky”
Wednesday, Oct. 11: “Heart Earth”
Wednesday, Nov. 8: “Last Bus to Wisdom”

Jan Zauha, professor and outreach librarian with the MSU Library, noted that as part of the series, the library will share unpublished documents, letters, photos and sounds that are relevant to each title. Individuals who are interested in receiving email reminders about the discussion series are invited to contact Zauha at

Doig, who grew up in White Sulphur Springs and Dupuyer, was a writer of international acclaim who published 16 volumes of fiction and non-fiction. His first book, “This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind,” a poetic memoir published in 1979, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Doig then turned to writing fiction that perennially hit best-seller lists. His final book, “Last Bus to Wisdom,” was published in 2015.

Although Doig had lived in Seattle for many years, the lives of his characters more often than not shared Doig’s Big Sky roots. Doig died in 2015 at the age of 75. In his obituary, the New York Times wrote that Doig “created a body of work that helped shape our understanding of rural working-class life in the postwar American West.”

An archive of Doig’s manuscripts, notes and other materials is housed in the MSU Library’s Special Collections and Archives. The collection is available for free public access online at

Zauha noted that the discussion series complements several other Doig-centered events that will be held this year, including the following:

  • An exhibit, “Ivan Doig: Voices and Vistas,” will bring the writer’s works and life to the 2017 Big Sky Country State Fair, set for July 19-23 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds in Bozeman. The large, interactive exhibit will be sponsored by the MSU Library, MSU College of Arts and Architecture, Country Bookshelf and the Yellowstone Writing Project. More information is available at
  • A symposium, “Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West,” will be held in Bozeman Sept. 14-16. The symposium will be sponsored by the MSU Center for Western Lands and Peoples, the MSU College of Letters and Science, the MSU Library and the Bozeman Public Library. It will be free and open to the public. More information is available at

Contact: Jan Zauha, MSU professor and outreach librarian, (406) 994-6554 or

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