Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pete Fromm Confronts His Tendency To 'Go Feral'

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm heard of a job babysitting salmon eggs, seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. Thirteen years later, he published his beloved memoir of that winter, "Indian Creek Chronicles" —"Into the Wild" with a twist.

Twenty five years later, he was asked to return to the wilderness to babysit more fish eggs. But no longer a footloose twenty year old, at forty-five, he was the father of two young sons. He left again, alone, straight into the heart of Montana’s Bob Marshall wilderness, walking a daily ten mile loop to his fish eggs through deer and elk and the highest density of grizzly bears in the lower 48 states.

"The Names of the Stars" is not only a story of wilderness and bears but also a trek through a life lived at its edges, showing how an impulsive kid transformed into a father without losing his love for the wilds. From loon calls echoing across Northwood lakes to the grim realities of life guarding in the Nevada desert, through the isolation of Indian Creek and years spent running the Snake and Rio Grande as a river ranger, Pete seeks out the source of this passion for wildness, as well as explores fatherhood and mortality and all the costs and risks and rewards of life lived on its own terms.

The Write Question blog
The Write Question on Facebook
The Write Question on Twitter
The Write Question podcast

Pete Fromm, author of The Names of the Stars and Indian Creek Chronicles
Pete Fromm

Pete Fromm is a five-time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award for his novels "" target="_blank">If Not For This," "As Cool As I Am" and "How All This Started," a story collection, "Night Swimming," and the memoir, "Indian Creek Chronicles."

"As Cool As I Am"is also a feature film starring Claire Danes, James Marsden, and Sarah Bolger, and" target="_blank">Dry Rain is a short film starring James LeGros and Nathan Gamble.

Pete is the author of four other short story collections and has published over two hundred stories in magazines. He is on the faculty of Pacific University’s low-residency MFA writing program, and speaks regularly at writer’s conferences around the country and in Europe. He lives in Montana with his wife.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information
Related Content