2008 One Read: About Author Ivan Doig

Ivan DoigIvan Doig was born in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, growing up the only child to his ranch hand father and ranch cook mother, living along the Rocky Mountain Front where much of his writing takes place. Doig knew he wanted to be a writer his junior year of high school. His first book, “This House of Sky,” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1979. Doig is a former ranch hand, newspaperman and magazine editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern, where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism and he also holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington. He lives in Seattle with his wife Carol.

My narrator in “The Whistling Season,” Paul Milliron, educator and bookman and graduate of a one-room school that he was, would have fully known the value of a community read, all the way from its linguistic beginnings. “Communitas,” the root of our usage of “community”—in Paul’s well-thumbed Latin-to-English dictionary, these several meanings of “communitas” are given: “sharing, partnership, social ties, fellowship, togetherness.” What better rewards could readers and writer alike ask for, than the common ground of literary fellowship through reading?

Regards, Ivan Doig

Other Books by Ivan Doig

  • This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind (1978)
  • Winter Brothers (1980)
  • The Sea Runners (1982)
  • English Creek (1984)
  • Dancing at the Rascal Fair (1987)
  • Ride With Me, Mariah Montana (1990)
  • Heart Earth (1993)
  • Bucking the Sun (1996)
  • Mountain Time (1999)
  • Prairie Nocturne (2003)
  • The Eleventh Man (due Oct. 2008)


National Book Award nomination and Christopher Award, both 1979, both for This House of Sky: Landscapes of a Western Mind; Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award for Literary Excellence, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, and 1994; Governor’s Writers Day awards, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1988; D.Litt., Montana State University, 1984, and Lewis and Clark College, 1987; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, 1985; Western Heritage Award for best western novel, 1985, for English Creek; Distinguished Achievement Award, Western Literature Association, 1989; Evans Biography Award, 1993, for Heart Earth; Pacific Northwest Writers Association Achievement Award, 2002.

One Read is generously underwritten by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library and made possible by organizations in our community. We thank all of our partners on the task force for their support.