Montana Author Ivan Doig Dies At 75
One of Montana’s best known and well-respected authors has died. Ivan Doig passed away today at his home in Seattle from multiple myeloma at the age of 75.
Doig was born in White Sulpher Springs in 1939, and his books were set in Montana.
In a 2013 interview with MTPR’s Cherie Newman, Doig talked about how his childhood experiences shaped his novel The Bartender’s Tale.
Missoula Writer and literature professor Lois Welch was a close friend of Doig’s. She says writing about boyhood is one of the things he did best.
"He was wonderful at conveying what it was like to be a kid, confused and enthusiastic about the world. And I just felt he was most engaging when he did that."
Welch says she admired Doig as both a writer and a friend.
"The quintessential Ivan Doig was the guy who would sit out on the patio with what we called 'the usual subjects', Bill Kittredge, Annick Smith, Deirdre McNamer and other writers, sit up late on the patio, talking in the summer evening. And then the next morning before the sun was quite up, he would sneak down the stairs to go to the archives of the library to do research. That was Ivan for you."
Doig earned bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington.
He wrote 16 books, including the so-called McCaskill trilogy, three novels about a fictional Montana family covering the first 100 years of state history. His 1979 memoir, "This House of Sky," was a finalist for the National Book Award. Doig won the Wallace Stegner Award in 2007.