English Creek (Paperback)
In this prize-winning portrait of a time and place--Montana in the 1930s--that at once inspires and fulfills a longing for an explicable past, Ivan Doig has created one of the most captivating families in American fiction, the McCaskills. The witty and haunting narration, a masterpiece of vernacular in the tradition of Twain, follows the events of the Two Medicine country's summer: the tide of sheep moving into the high country, the capering Fourth of July rodeo and community dance, and an end-of-August forest fire high in the Rockies that brings the book, as well as the McCaskill family's struggle within itself, to a stunning climax. It is a season of escapade as well as drama, during which fourteen-year-old Jick comes of age. Through his eyes we see those nearest and dearest to him at a turning point--"where all four of our lives made their bend"--and discover along with him his own connection to the land, to history, and to the deep-fathomed mysteries of one's kin and one's self.
"Commonly compared with Paul Horgan and Wallace Stegner...Doig seems something else. A truer comparison might be with Robert Louis Stevenson because of Doig's magical welding of history into fiction, of adventure with everyday life, of legend with lore."
-- The Washington Post
"Here is the real Montana, the real West, through the eyes of a real writer."
-- Wallace Stegner
"Sheer magic...simply a national treasure."
-- USA Today