Montana Public Radio

fiction

"It’s hard because those same qualities that make you really good at your job—chasing Al Qaeda or ISIS and basically taking them off the face of the earth—those same qualities can lead down some dark roads." -- Ray McPadden

Theresa Burkhart

Award-winning professor and author, Rita Sommers-Flanagan has written a book that will charm, irritate, amuse, and engage readers. It will also change minds and lives. This novel provides an entertaining and excellent read for book clubs, families, and everyone contemplating the meaning of life.

In the summer of 1955, sixteen-year-old Tommy Cadigan finds himself helpless in the face of desire, especially when the man that wears the face is his high school swimming coach, a young Korean War veteran who is still recovering from receiving a “blue ticket” discharging him from the military because of his homosexuality. Unsure if his infatuation is returned, Tommy distracts himself with the attention of a local bully, who hustles older men at night besides a decrepit zoo in Boise’s park. Tommy soon finds himself in the midst of a scandal that threatens to ignite the entire town…and his life will never be the same.

“He was like a pebble, a pearl that lived under my tongue in that place no one would ever touch with fingers, where my laughter washed over his curved back. I considered his various pasts: sea- or river-worn, tumbled and tragically washed for God knows how long. He was a bulb of promise, nacreous and luminary, where he sensed my words before they crossed my lips, where he navigated the shadowy channels I couldn’t possibly see. He lived sometimes inside my cheek and he knew what was at stake: if he happened by some mishandling to land between my teeth, one of us would crack. We both agreed on symbiosis and made a promise against fracture.” -- Amy Ratto Parks

"I think the first primal place to start is to recognize one another as human beings. We are not infestations, we are not illegal, we are not alien. . . We are human beings. " -- Shobha Rao

Sam and Kate figured that good writing served with a slice of pie and a shot of whiskey would create an energized atmosphere uncommon at literary events. The contributors, drawn mainly from the west, but not exclusively, responded with surprising, funny, heartbreaking, fantastically written stories and poems. The book will include a smattering of pie recipes and whiskey-centric cocktails. Look here for tasty literary servings.

30-year-old Bronwyn Artair, feeling out of place in her doctoral program in Atmospheric Sciences at MIT, drops out and takes a job as a TV meteorologist, much to the dismay of her mentor, Diane Fenwick. After a year of living alone in Southern New Hampshire, enduring the indignities of her job, dumped by her boyfriend, she discovers her deep connection to the natural world has given her an ability to affect natural forces. When she finally accepts she really possesses this startling capability, she must then negotiate a new relationship to the world. Who will she tell? Who will believe her? Most importantly, how will she put this new skill of hers to use?

A stirring novel set in Afghanistan about two women—an American aid worker and her local interpreter—who form an unexpected friendship despite their utterly different life experiences and the ever-increasing violence that surrounds them in Kabul.

Whiskey burns pleasantly as it goes down, but has a lasting, powerful effect.

Whiskey is the story of two brothers, their parents, and three wrecked marriages, a searching audiobook about family life at its most distressed—about kinship, failure, enough liquor to get through it all, and ultimately a dark and hard-earned grace. With the gruff humor of Cormac McCarthy and a dash of the madcap irony of Charles Portis, and a strong, authentic literary voice all his own, Bruce Holbert traverses the harsh landscape of America’s northwestern border and finds a family unlike any you’ve met before.

"I guess I’ve always tried to be a better guy than I am, but I’m like Horace, I always fall back on the things I love. I can’t help it." -- Willy Vlautin

A moving story about a man’s search for belonging in all the wrong places, "Don’t Skip Out on Me," is an understated yet powerful exploration of identity and loneliness pulled from deep within America’s soul. Publishing for the first time in hardcover, award-winning author Willy Vlautin follows in the footsteps of his earlier beloved novels, delivering another emotionally raw tale of a tragic and beautiful life.

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