Blew will read from her new novel on Friday
Northwest writer Mary Clearman Blew will read from her recently published novel “Jackalope Dreams” this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston.
Blew, a former professor at LCSC and now a professor at the University of Idaho, will read from her novel, answer questions from the audience and autograph books.
The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be available.
Blew was born to a ranching family at Lewiston, Mont., and was educated at the University of Montana, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and at the University of Missouri, where she received her Ph.D. She has taught in universities and colleges in Missouri, Montana, and Idaho.
Following graduate school, Blew returned to Montana in 1969 and stayed there until 1987. About her youth, Blew has said, "I grew up in pre-television Montana, on an isolated ranch, and took to reading and writing naturally." Blew has been particularly influenced by fellow Montana authors as well as the novels of Mildred Walker, which she read as a teen.
Blew’s previous publications include “Lambing Out And Other Stories”, “Runaway”, “All But The Waltz”, “Balsamroot”, “Circle Of Women”, “Bone Deep In Landscape: Essays On Reading, Writing, And Place”, and “Sister Coyote: Montana Stories.” She has twice received the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, once in fiction and once in nonfiction, as well as the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award.
Regarding her latest novel, “Jackalope Dreams,” immense praise has come from numerous sources. Publisher’s Weekly stated, “In Blew's commendable fiction debut. . . . [the author's] distinctive narrative voice and knack for description keep the story on track.” Paul Wilner of the Los Angeles Times Book Review wrote, “Mary Clearman Blew’s stunning first novel gives us an example—if any is required—of why fiction is still necessary and what it uniquely offers. It’s an understated achievement that recalls the early works of Larry McMurtry, along with the tough, febrile voice of S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” and the emotional intelligence of William Maxwell. Willa Cather’s work also comes to mind. . . . Sentences seethe with urgent, unhurried energy, and the description of the land the author so clearly loves is in service of the story, not showing off. You come to care deeply about these people, caught between an uncapturable past and an uncertain future. “Jackalope Dreams” is a small masterpiece; it deserves the attention it makes a point of not seeking.”
Friday’s event is sponsored by the LCSC Humanities Division and the college.