Work Song

By Ivan Doig
(Riverhead Hardcover, Hardcover, 9781594487620, 288pp.)

Publication Date: June 29, 2010

List Price: $25.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2010 Indie Next List
“The year is 1919, a decade after The Whistling Season, and we're once again graced with the presence of Morrie Morris, that irascible fellow who charmed us in Doig's earlier novel. He's now in Butte, Montana, and has gotten himself embroiled in the workings of the Anaconda Copper Mine, the unions, the Wobblies, the public library, and the goings-on in the boarding house where he ends up. Ivan Doig is a master of grand, old fashioned storytelling, and Work Song is storytelling at its best!”
-- Vicki McNeil, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, WA


Description

An award-winning and beloved novelist of the American West spins the further adventures of a favorite character, in one of his richest historical settings yet.

"If America was a melting pot, Butte would be its boiling point," observes Morrie Morgan, the itinerant teacher, walking encyclopedia, and inveterate charmer last seen leaving a one- room schoolhouse in Marias Coulee, the stage he stole in Ivan Doig's 2006 The Whistling Season. A decade later, Morrie is back in Montana, as the beguiling narrator of Work Song.

Lured like so many others by "the richest hill on earth," Morrie steps off the train in Butte, copper-mining capital of the world, in its jittery heyday of 1919. But while riches elude Morrie, once again a colorful cast of local characters-and their dramas-seek him out: a look-alike, sound-alike pair of retired Welsh miners; a streak-of-lightning waif so skinny that he is dubbed Russian Famine; a pair of mining company goons; a comely landlady propitiously named Grace; and an eccentric boss at the public library, his whispered nickname a source of inexplicable terror. When Morrie crosses paths with a lively former student, now engaged to a fiery young union leader, he is caught up in the mounting clash between the iron-fisted mining company, radical "outside agitators," and the beleaguered miners. And as tensions above ground and below reach the explosion point, Morrie finds a unique way to give a voice to those who truly need one.

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About the Author

Ivan Doig was born in Montana and grew up along the Rocky Mountain Front, the dramatic landscape that has inspired much of his writing. A former ranch hand, newspaperman, and magazine editor, with a Ph.D. in history, Doig is the author of nine previous novels, most recently The Whistling Season and The Eleventh Man, and three works of nonfiction, including his classic first book, the memoir This House of Sky. He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, and multiple PNBA and MPBA Book Awards, among other honors. He lives in Seattle.

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